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Cassandra

[kuh-san-druh]
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noun
  1. Also called Alexandra. Classical Mythology. a daughter of Priam and Hecuba, a prophet cursed by Apollo so that her prophecies, though true, were fated never to be believed.
  2. a person who prophesies doom or disaster.
  3. a female given name: from a Greek word meaning “helper of men.”
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for cassandra

Cassandra

noun
  1. Greek myth a daughter of Priam and Hecuba, endowed with the gift of prophecy but fated never to be believed
  2. anyone whose prophecies of doom are unheeded
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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 cassandra

Cassandra

fem. proper name, from Greek Kasandra, Kassandra, daughter of Priam of Troy, seduced by Apollo who gave her the gift of prophecy, but when she betrayed him he amended it so that, though she spoke truth, none would believe her. Used figuratively since 1660s.

The name is of uncertain origin, though the second element looks like a fem. form of Greek andros "of man, male human being." Watkins suggests PIE *(s)kand- "to shine" as source of second element, hence possibly "praise of men."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cassandra in Culture

Cassandra

[(kuh-san-druh)]

In classical mythology, a prophetess in Troy during the Trojan War (see also Trojan War) whose predictions, although true, were never believed by those around her. Apollo had given her the gift of prophecy but made it worthless after she refused his amorous advances. The Greeks captured Cassandra after their victory and sacrilegiously removed her from the temple of Athena. As a result, Athena helped cause shipwrecks and enormous loss of life to the Greeks on their return home.

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Note

A “Cassandra” is someone who constantly predicts bad news.
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.