Lethe

[ lee-thee ]
/ ˈli θi /
|

noun

Classical Mythology. a river in Hades whose water caused forgetfulness of the past in those who drank of it.
(usually lowercase) forgetfulness; oblivion.

Origin of Lethe

< Latin < Greek, special use of lḗthē forgetfulness, akin to lanthánesthai to forget

Related formsLe·the·an [li-thee-uh n, lee-thee-uh n] /lɪˈθi ən, ˈli θi ən/, Le·thied, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lethe


British Dictionary definitions for lethe

Lethe

/ (ˈliːθɪ) /

noun

Greek myth a river in Hades that caused forgetfulness in those who drank its waters
forgetfulness
Derived FormsLethean (lɪˈθiːən), adjective

Word Origin for Lethe

C16: via Latin from Greek, from lēthē oblivion

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 lethe

Lethe

river of Hades (whose water when drunk caused forgetfulness of the past), from Greek lethe, literally "forgetfulness, oblivion," related to lethargos "forgetful," lathre "secretly, by stealth," lathrios "stealthy," lanthanein "to be hidden." Cognate with Latin latere "to be hidden" (see latent). Related: Lethean.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for lethe

Lethe

[ (lee-thee) ]

In classical mythology, a river flowing through Hades. The souls of the dead were forced to drink of its waters, which made them forget what they had done, said, and suffered when they were alive.

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.