naiad

[ney-ad, -uh d, nahy-]

noun, plural nai·ads, nai·a·des [ney-uh-deez, nahy-] /ˈneɪ əˌdiz, ˈnaɪ-/.

(sometimes initial capital letter) Classical Mythology. any of a class of nymphs presiding over rivers and springs.
the juvenile form of the dragonfly, damselfly, or mayfly.
a female swimmer, especially an expert one.
Botany. a plant of the genus Najas, having narrow leaves and solitary flowers.
Entomology. an aquatic nymph.
a freshwater mussel.

Nearby words

  1. nahuatl,
  2. nahuatlan,
  3. nahum,
  4. nai,
  5. nai register,
  6. naiads,
  7. naic,
  8. naida,
  9. naif,
  10. nail

Origin of naiad

< Latin Nāïad- (stem of Nāïas) < Greek Nāïás a water nymph

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

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British Dictionary definitions for naiad

naiad

noun plural -ads or -ades (-əˌdiːz)

Greek myth a nymph dwelling in a lake, river, spring, or fountain
the aquatic larva of the dragonfly, mayfly, and related insects
Also called: water nymph any monocotyledonous submerged aquatic plant of the genus Naias (or Najas), having narrow leaves and small flowers: family Naiadaceae (or Najadaceae)
any of certain freshwater mussels of the genus UnioSee mussel (def. 2)

Word Origin for naiad

C17: via Latin from Greek nāias water nymph; related to náein to flow

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 naiad

naiad

n.

"water nymph," c.1600, from Latin Nais, Naias (genitive naiadis), from Greek Naias (plural Naiades) "river nymph," from naiein "to flow," from PIE *naw-yo-, suffixed form of root *(s)nau- "to swim, flow, let flow" (see nutriment). Dryden used the Latin singular form Nais, and the plural Naiades is attested in English from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper