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From Middle English chimera, chimere, from Old French chimere, or directly from Latin chimaera, from Ancient Greek Χίμαιρα(Khímaira). The fabulous monster in Lycia (with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail), supposedly personification of snow or winter, originally "year-old she-goat", from χεῖμα(kheîma, winter season). Meaning "wild fantasy" first recorded 1587.



chimera ‎(plural chimeras)

  1. (mythology) Chimera, or any fantastic creature with parts from different animals
  2. Anything composed of very disparate parts
    • 2016, Gill Harris in the Swindon Advertiser, All about: Running Away With the Circus — Trans-Siberian March Band, published 17 November 2016
      Throughout 12 tracks the ear is treated to a musical chimera where folk frolics and gypsy jaunts fight with klezmeric machinations and Slavic ska to form a brass infused Ottoman folk-punk or it might just be the sound of Bellowhead working as the house band in an Armenian brothel.
    He built himself a chimera: half VW, half Porsche.
  3. A vain, foolish, or incongruous thought, or product of the imagination
    • 1841, Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge Chapter 70
      As to being taken up, himself, for a rioter, and punished with the rest, Mr Dennis dismissed that possibility from his thoughts as an idle chimera; arguing that the line of conduct he had adopted at Newgate, and the service he had rendered that day, would be more than a set-off against any evidence which might identify him as a member of the crowd.
  4. (genetics) An organism with genetically distinct cells originating from two zygotes
  5. (architecture) A grotesque, like a gargoyle but without a spout for rainwater
  6. (usually chimaera) A cartilaginous marine fish in the subclass Holocephali and especially the order Chimaeriformes, with a blunt snout, long tail, and a spine before the first dorsal fin


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From Latin chimaera, from Ancient Greek Χίμαιρα(Khímaira).


chimera f ‎(plural chimere)

  1. chimera
  2. chimera, a kind of shark of the genus Chimaera