mermaid

[ mur-meyd ]
/ ˈmɜrˌmeɪd /

noun

(in folklore) a female marine creature, having the head, torso, and arms of a woman and the tail of a fish.
a highly skilled female swimmer.

Origin of mermaid

First recorded in 1300–50, mermaid is from the Middle English word mermayde. See mere2, maid
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for mermaid

mermaid

/ (ˈmɜːˌmeɪd) /

noun

an imaginary sea creature fabled to have a woman's head and upper body and a fish's tail

Word Origin for mermaid

C14: from mere lake, inlet + maid
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 mermaid

mermaid


A legendary marine creature with the head and torso of a woman and the tail of a fish; the masculine, less well-known equivalent is a merman. Though linked to the classical Sirens, mermaids may be nothing more than sailors' fanciful reports of the playful antics of dugongs or manatees.

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.