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faun

[fawn]
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noun Classical Mythology.
  1. one of a class of rural deities represented as men with the ears, horns, tail, and later also the hind legs of a goat.
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Origin of faun

1325–75; Middle English (< Old French faune) < Latin faunus; cf. Faunus
Related formsfaun·like, adjective
Can be confusedfaun fawn
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for fauns

Historical Examples

  • Jeremiah calls them fauns—the dragons with the fauns, which feed upon figs.

    The Phantom World

    Augustin Calmet

  • And fauns and nymphs and satyrs echoed that shout most joyously.

  • Their lives seemed linked to that of the trees, like those of Fauns or Dryads.

    Paul and Virginia

    Bernardin de Saint Pierre

  • They were identical with Fauns, Panes or Sylvani, the human-goat wood-spirits.

    Human Animals

    Frank Hamel

  • The place was fit for Spenser's Pan, with all his fauns and sylvans.


British Dictionary definitions for fauns

faun

noun
  1. (in Roman legend) a rural deity represented as a man with a goat's ears, horns, tail, and hind legs
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Derived Formsfaunlike, adjective

Word Origin

C14: back formation from Faunes (plural), from Latin Faunus
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 fauns

faun

n.

late 14c., from Latin Faunus, a word of unknown origin. A god of the countryside, worshipped especially by farmers and shepherds, equivalent of Greek Pan. Formerly men with goat horns and tails, later with goat legs, which caused them to be assimilated to satyrs, but they have diverged again lately.

The faun is now regarded rather as the type of unsophisticated & the satyr of unpurified man; the first is man still in intimate communion with Nature, the second is man still swayed by bestial passions. [Fowler]

The plural is fauni.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

fauns in Culture

fauns

The Roman name for satyrs, mythical creatures who were part man and part goat.

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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.