• synonyms


[sur-ber-uh s]
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noun, plural Cer·ber·us·es, Cer·ber·i [sur-buh-rahy] /ˈsɜr bəˌraɪ/ for 2.
  1. Also Kerberos. Classical Mythology. a dog, usually represented as having three heads, that guarded the entrance of the infernal regions.
  2. a formidable and often surly keeper or guard.
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Related formsCer·be·re·an [ser-beer-ee-uh n] /sərˈbɪər i ən/, Cer·ber·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for cerberi

superintendent, curator, steward, warden, overseer, keeper, supervisor, protector, watchdog, cleaner, bodyguard, guardian, concierge, manager, escort, super, sitter, cerberus, claviger, swamper

Examples from the Web for cerberi

Historical Examples of cerberi

  • With the change of the abode of the dead from inferno to heaven the two Cerberi are eo ipso also evicted.

    Cerberus, The Dog of Hades

    Maurice Bloomfield

British Dictionary definitions for cerberi


  1. Greek myth a dog, usually represented as having three heads, that guarded the entrance to Hades
  2. a sop to Cerberus a bribe or something given to propitiate a potential source of danger or problems
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Derived FormsCerberean (səˈbɪərɪən), adjective
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 cerberi


"watch-dog guardian of Hades," late 14c., Latinized form of Greek Kerberos, of unknown origin, according to Klein perhaps cognate with Sanskrit karbarah, sabalah "spotted, speckled;" Sabalah was the name of one of the two dogs of Yama.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cerberi in Culture



In classical mythology, the three-headed dog who guarded the entrance to Hades.

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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.