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Penelope

[puh-nel-uh-pee]
noun
  1. Classical Mythology. the wife of Odysseus, who remained faithful to him during his long absence at Troy.
  2. a faithful wife.
  3. a female given name: from a Greek word meaning “weaver.”
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for penelope

Penelope

noun
  1. Greek myth the wife of Odysseus, who remained true to him during his long absence despite the importunities of many suitors
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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 penelope

Penelope

fem. proper name, name of the faithful wife in the "Odyssey," from Greek Penelopeia, probably related to pene "thread on the bobbin," from penos "web," cognate with Latin pannus "cloth garment" (see pane (n.)). Used in English as the type of the virtuous wife (1580) as it was in Latin.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

penelope in Culture

Penelope

[(puh-nel-uh-pee)]

The wife of Odysseus in classical mythology. Penelope remained true to her husband for the ten years he spent fighting in the Trojan War (see also Trojan War) and for the ten years it took him to return from Troy, even though she was harassed by men who wanted to marry her. She promised to choose a suitor after she had finished weaving a shroud for her father-in-law, but every night she unraveled what she had woven during the day. After three years, her trick was discovered, but she still managed to put her suitors off until Odysseus returned and killed them.

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Note

Penelope is an image of fidelity and devotion.
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.