Origin of siren

1300–50; Middle English sereyn < Old French sereine < Late Latin Sīrēna, Latin Sīrēn < Greek Seirḗn

SYNONYMS FOR siren

Related forms

si·ren·like, adjective
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Examples from the Web for sirens

British Dictionary definitions for sirens

siren

/ (ˈsaɪərən) /

noun

a device for emitting a loud wailing sound, esp as a warning or signal, typically consisting of a rotating perforated metal drum through which air or steam is passed under pressure
(sometimes capital) Greek myth one of several sea nymphs whose seductive singing was believed to lure sailors to destruction on the rocks the nymphs inhabited
  1. a woman considered to be dangerously alluring or seductive
  2. (as modifier)her siren charms
any aquatic eel-like salamander of the North American family Sirenidae, having external gills, no hind limbs, and reduced forelimbs

Word Origin for siren

C14: from Old French sereine, from Latin sīrēn, from Greek seirēn
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

Culture definitions for sirens

Sirens

In classical mythology, evil creatures who lived on a rocky island, singing in beautiful voices in an effort to lure sailors to shipwreck and death. Odysseus ordered his crew to plug their ears to escape the Sirens' fatal song.


Note

Figuratively, a “siren” is a beautiful or tempting woman; a “siren song” is any irresistible distraction.
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.