noun, plural Tan·ta·lus·es for 2.
Examples from the Web for tantalus
Why, one that was held by right, handed down from Tantalus and Pelops.De Officiis|Marcus Tullius Cicero
You don't know what it is to endure the pangs of Tantalus, to have a perpetual hunger at your heart that can never be satisfied.Portia|Duchess
It is said that Tantalus, when in the flesh, had betrayed the secrets of the gods and also committed other great crimes.
He is like Tantalus, who hath freedome running by his doore, yet cannot enioy the least benefit thereof.Microcosmography|John Earle
That night, for the first time, Tancred entered fully into the feelings of Tantalus and those of Sisyphus too.A Transient Guest|Edgar Saltus
Greek Tantalos, king of Phrygia, perhaps literally "the Bearer" or "the Sufferer," by dissimilation from *tal-talos, a reduplication of PIE root *tel-, *tol- "to bear, carry, support" (see extol). Cf. tantalize.
A king in classical mythology who, as punishment for having offended the gods, was tortured with everlasting thirst and hunger in Hades. He stood up to his chin in water, but each time he bent to quench his thirst, the water receded. There were boughs heavy with fruit over his head, but each time he tried to pluck them, the wind blew them out of reach.