Harpy

[ hahr-pee ]
/ ˈhɑr pi /

noun, plural Har·pies.

Classical Mythology. a ravenous, filthy monster having a woman's head and a bird's body.
(lowercase) a scolding, nagging, bad-tempered woman; shrew.
(lowercase) a greedy, predatory person.

Origin of Harpy

< Latin Harpȳia, singular of Harpȳiae < Greek Hárpȳiai (plural), literally, snatchers, akin to harpázein to snatch away

Related forms

harp·y·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for harpies

British Dictionary definitions for harpies (1 of 2)

harpy

/ (ˈhɑːpɪ) /

noun plural -pies

a cruel grasping woman

Word Origin for harpy

C16: from Latin Harpyia, from Greek Harpuiai the Harpies, literally: snatchers, from harpazein to seize

British Dictionary definitions for harpies (2 of 2)

Harpy

/ (ˈhɑːpɪ) /

noun plural -pies

Greek myth a ravenous creature with a woman's head and trunk and a bird's wings and claws
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

Culture definitions for harpies

Harpies


Vicious winged beings in classical mythology, often depicted as birds with women's faces. In the story of Jason, they steal or spoil an old blind man's food, leaving a terrible odor behind them.

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.