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- (Greek mythology, Roman mythology) A dark and gloomy part of the realm of Hades, reserved for the damned and the wicked, such as the Titans; an equivalent of hell in Greek and Roman mythology.
- 1667, John Milton, “Book VI”, in Paradise Lost. […], London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, →OCLC, lines 50–55:
- […] them with Fire and hoſtile Arms / Fearleſs aſſault, and to the brow of Heav'n / Purſuing, drive them out from God and bliſs, / Into thir place of puniſhment, the Gulf / Of Tartarus, which ready opens wide / His fiery Chaos to receave thir fall.
- (figurative) Any hellish place; a dark gloomy chasm or pit.
- 1886 October – 1887 January, H[enry] Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., published 1887, →OCLC:
- We lay there hour after hour in terror and misery of mind so deep that I will not attempt to describe it, and listened to the wild storm-voices of that Tartarus, as, set to the deep undertone of the spur opposite against which the wind hummed like some awful harp, they called to each other from precipice to precipice.
- 1890, William Booth, “Round the slums of New York”, in In Darkest England and the Way Out, page 161:
- After arranging a rendezvous, we separate. Mattie and Liz go off in one direction, and Em and I in another. From this our progress seems like a descent into Tartarus. Em pauses before a miserable-looking saloon, pushes open the low, swinging door, and we go in.
dark part of Hades
- (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈtar.ta.rus/, [ˈt̪ärt̪ärʊs̠]
- (modern Italianate Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): /ˈtar.ta.rus/, [ˈt̪ärt̪ärus]
- (Greek mythology, Roman mythology) Tartarus (hell, part of the underworld)
- A river of Venetia that used to flow into the Adriatic Sea, now called Tartaro.
Second-declension noun, singular only.
- Alternative form of
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- “Tartarus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
- “Tartarus”, in William Smith, editor (1854, 1857) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, volume 1 & 2, London: Walton and Maberly
- Tartarus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette