verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
Origin of siren
Examples from the Web for sirens
At the time, sirens were not yet standard in tornado country.Heed the Warnings: Why We’re on the Brink of Mass Extinction|Sean B. Carroll|November 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Still more keys engage an array of other sounds, from snare drums and cymbals to awooga horns and sirens.How to Save Silent Movies: Inside New Jersey’s Cinema Paradiso|Rich Goldstein|October 2, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Then the first sirens of that long day sounded in the distance.
The FDR Drive was closed to all traffic except emergency vehicles, and we drove down it with lights and sirens flashing.
As shadows fall and flesh goads, we all but hear the frenzied rutting amid the sirens.How Horst Captured Dietrich, Rita Hayworth, and Vivien Leigh—and Changed Fashion Photography|Patrick Strudwick|September 8, 2014|DAILY BEAST
There is a hush, and the sweetest song ever sung by sirens is heard, full of languor and soft seductiveness.Richard Wagner|John F. Runciman
The third son resists the sirens, ransoms his brothers, and also pays the debts of a dead man, whose corpse is being maltreated.The Grateful Dead|Gordon Hall Gerould
The Sirens resemble mermaids, having the faces of women, but bodies of flying fish.The Mysteries of All Nations|James Grant
Soft music was heard at a distance, or sirens sung on the rocks.The Tatler, Volume Two|Various
What a terribly immoral influence must such exhibitions have upon such an uneducated crowd as surrounded these sirens!
- a woman considered to be dangerously alluring or seductive
- (as modifier)her siren charms
Word Origin for siren
mid-14c., "sea nymph who by her singing lures sailors to their destruction," from Old French sereine (12c., Modern French sirène) and directly from Latin Siren (Late Latin Sirena), from Greek Seiren ["Odyssey," xii.39 ff.], one of the Seirenes, mythical sisters who enticed sailors to their deaths with their songs, also in Greek "a deceitful woman," perhaps literally "binder, entangler," from seira "cord, rope."
Meaning "device that makes a warning sound" (on an ambulance, etc.) first recorded 1879, in reference to steamboats, perhaps from similar use of the French word. Figurative sense of "one who sings sweetly and charms" is recorded from 1580s. The classical descriptions of them were mangled in medieval translations and glosses, resulting in odd notions of what they looked like.
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.