Dictionary.com

Pygmalion

[ pig-mey-lee-uhn, -meyl-yuhn ]
/ pɪgˈmeɪ li ən, -ˈmeɪl yən /
Save This Word!

noun
Classical Mythology. a sculptor and king of Cyprus who carved an ivory statue of a maiden and fell in love with it. It was brought to life, in response to his prayer, by Aphrodite.
(italics) a comedy (1912) by George Bernard Shaw.
QUIZ
TEST YOUR MERIT ON THESE NEW WORDS IN 2021
The Dictionary added new words and definition to our vast collection, and we want to see how well-versed you are in the formally recognized new lingo. Take the quiz!
Question 1 of 8
What does JEDI stand for?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use Pygmalion in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Pygmalion

Pygmalion
/ (pɪɡˈmeɪlɪən) /

noun
Greek myth a king of Cyprus, who fell in love with the statue of a woman he had sculpted and which his prayers brought to life as Galatea
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

Cultural definitions for Pygmalion (1 of 2)

Pygmalion
[ (pig-may-lee-uhn) ]

In classical mythology, a sculptor who at first hated women but then fell in love with a statue he made of a woman. He prayed to Venus that she would find him a woman like the statue. Instead, Venus made the statue come to life.

notes for Pygmalion

The play Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw, adapts this theme: a professor trains a girl from the gutter to speak and behave like a lady, and then he and his new creation become attached to each other. This play became the basis for the musical comedy My Fair Lady.

Cultural definitions for Pygmalion (2 of 2)

Pygmalion
[ (pig-mayl-yuhn, pig-may-lee-uhn) (1913) ]

A play by George Bernard Shaw, about a professor, Henry Higgins, who trains a poor, uneducated girl, Eliza Doolittle, to act and speak like a lady. Shaw based his story on a tale from Greek mythology about a sculptor who carves a statue of a woman and falls in love with it (see under “Mythology and Folklore”).

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.
FEEDBACK