Classical Mythology. an Athenian princess who was raped by her brother-in-law Tereus and was subsequently avenged and transformed into a nightingale.
(lowercase) philomel.


or phil·o·me·la

[fil-uh-mel or fil-uh-mee-luh]

noun Literary.

the nightingale.

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

Examples from the Web for philomela

Historical Examples of philomela

British Dictionary definitions for philomela



Greek myth an Athenian princess, who was raped and had her tongue cut out by her brother-in-law Tereus, and subsequently was transformed into a nightingaleSee Procne


philomela (ˌfɪləʊˈmiːlə)


poetic names for a nightingale

Word Origin for philomel

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 philomela



"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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper