noun Classical Mythology.
  1. the daughter of Tantalus and wife of Amphion of Thebes. She provoked Apollo and Artemis to vengeance by taunting their mother, Leto, with the number and beauty of her own children; Niobe's children were slain and Zeus turned her into stone, in which state she continued to weep over her loss.
Related formsNi·o·be·an, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for niobe

Historical Examples of niobe

  • I ought to be a Dido and Niobe and Cassandra rolled into one.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • Niobe would have made the response with a greater show of cheer.

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • Perhaps the fate of Niobe is no fable, but a type of the callousness of our nature.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

  • Her sister stood erect in grief like a daughter of Niobe wept into stone.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • I always think what a guy Niobe must have been if she was indeed all tears.

    Molly Bawn

    Margaret Wolfe Hamilton

British Dictionary definitions for niobe


  1. Greek myth a daughter of Tantalus, whose children were slain after she boasted of them: although turned into stone, she continued to weep
Derived FormsNiobean (naɪˈəʊbɪən), adjective
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 niobe


in Greek mythology, a queen of Thebes, daughter of Tantalus, changed to a stone while weeping for her children (slain, after she boasted of them overmuch, by Artemis and Apollo); hence the name is used figuratively for bereavement and woe. The name is said to mean literally "snowy; snowy-bright."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper