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Argus

[ahr-guh s]
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noun
  1. Classical Mythology. a giant with 100 eyes, set to guard the heifer Io: his eyes were transferred after his death to the peacock's tail.
  2. a son of Phrixus and builder of the Argo.
  3. (in the Odyssey) Odysseus' faithful dog, who recognized his master after twenty years and immediately died.
  4. any observant or vigilant person; a watchful guardian.
  5. (lowercase) Also argus pheasant. any of several brilliantly marked Malayan pheasants of the Argusianus or Rheinardia genera.
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Origin of Argus

< Latin < Greek Árgos, derivative of argós bright, shining

Argo

[ahr-goh]
noun, genitive Ar·gus [ahr-guh s] /ˈɑr gəs/ for 1.
  1. Astronomy. a very large southern constellation, now divided into Vela, Carina, Puppis, and Pyxis, four separate constellations lying largely south of Canis Major.
  2. (italics) Classical Mythology. the ship in which Jason sailed in quest of the Golden Fleece.
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Related formsAr·go·an, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for argus

Historical Examples

  • And, by the way, don't leave your address at the Argus office.'

    In the Midst of Alarms

    Robert Barr

  • I always was weak where the interests of the Argus were concerned.

  • Yates threw off his coat, and went to work as if he were in his own den in the Argus building.

  • Go to Argus, the shipbuilder, and bid him build a galley with fifty oars.

    Tanglewood Tales

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • So he was not very long in getting his sheep into the field with Argus.

    Classic Myths

    Mary Catherine Judd


British Dictionary definitions for argus

argus

noun
  1. any of various brown butterflies, esp the Scotch argus (Erebia aethiops) found on moorland and in forests up to a height of 2000 m
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Argus

noun
  1. Greek myth a giant with a hundred eyes who was made guardian of the heifer Io. After he was killed by Hermes his eyes were transferred to the peacock's tail
  2. a vigilant person; guardian
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Argo1

noun
  1. Greek myth the ship in which Jason sailed in search of the Golden Fleece
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Argo2

noun Latin genitive Argus (ˈɑːɡəs)
  1. an extensive constellation in the S hemisphere now subdivided into the smaller constellations of Puppis, Vela, Carina, and PyxisAlso called: Argo Navis (ˈneɪvɪs)
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for argus

Argus

hundred-eyed giant of Greek mythology, late 14c., from Latin, from Greek Argos, literally "the bright one," from argos "shining, bright" (see argent). His epithet was Panoptes "all-eyes." After his death, Hera transferred his eyes to the peacock's tail. Used in figurative sense of "very vigilant person."

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Argo

name of the ship in which Jason and his companions sought the Fleece in Colchis, in Greek, literally "The Swift," from argos "swift" (adj.), an epithet, literally "shining, bright" (see argent; cf. also Sanskrit cognate rjrah "shining, glowing, bright," also "swift"), "because all swift motion causes a kind of glancing or flickering light" [Liddell and Scott].

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

argus in Culture

Argus

A creature in classical mythology who had a hundred eyes. Hera set him to watch over Io, a girl who had been seduced by Zeus and then turned into a cow; with Argus on guard, Zeus could not come to rescue Io, for only some of Argus' eyes would be closed in sleep at any one time. Hermes, working on Zeus' behalf, played music that put all the eyes to sleep and then killed Argus. Hera put his eyes in the tail of the peacock.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.