• synonyms


or phil·o·me·la

[fil-uh-mel or fil-uh-mee-luh]
noun Literary.
  1. the nightingale.
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Origin of philomel

1350–1400; earlier Philomele, Philomela (< Middle French philomèle) < Latin Philomēla < Greek Philómēla Philomela; replacing Middle English Philomene < Medieval Latin Philomēna, dissimilated variant of Philomēla
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for philomel

Historical Examples

  • List to Philomel; how sweet from a full heart of love she sings her message to her dear!


    H. Rider Haggard

  • Philomel Whiffet sometimes had his school do unexpected things that way.

  • Larks are seen in buntings, and a wren's song entrances like Philomel's.

    Fresh Fields

    John Burroughs

  • "Run and find Philomel's mother," Victor instructed the girl.

  • Two of the fire-ships were soon in flames, a third blew up, and a fourth was sunk by the Philomel.

British Dictionary definitions for philomel


philomela (ˌfɪləʊˈmiːlə)

  1. poetic names for a nightingale
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Word Origin

C14 philomene, via Medieval Latin from Latin philomēla, from Greek
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 philomel


"nightingale," late 14c., from Greek Philomela, poetic name of the nightingale, in mythology the daughter of Pandion, transformed into a nightingale; probably literally "lover of song," from philos "loving" + melos "a tune, song;" but perhaps "lover of apples" (Greek mela). In the myth, proper name of Pandion's daughter, who was turned into a nightingale (Ovid).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper