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A 1590–1610 drawing of a chimera (sense 1) attributed to Jacopo Ligozzi
A chimera (sense 5) or grotesque on The King’s House in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, UK
A chimeric mouse (sense 6; right) and its offspring
A deep-sea chimaera or ghost shark (sense 7; species unidentified) from the Celebes Sea


From Middle English chimere, from French chimère, from Latin chimaera, from Ancient Greek χίμαιρα (khímaira, chimera; female goat), from χίμαρος (khímaros, male goat),[1] from Proto-Indo-European *gʰei-. The Latin form has become more common from the 16th century.[1]



chimera (plural chimeras)

  1. (Greek mythology) Alternative letter-case form of Chimera (a flame-spewing monster often represented as having two heads, one of a goat and the other of a lion; the body of a goat; and a serpent as a tail).
  2. (mythology) Any fantastic creature with parts from different animals.
  3. Anything composed of very disparate parts.
    The car which he built himself was a real chimera: half Volkswagen and half Porsche.
    • 2016 November 17, Gill Harris, “All about: Running Away with the Circus – Trans-Siberian March Band”, in Swindon Advertiser[1], England: Newsquest Media Group, OCLC 836787738, archived from the original on 18 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.
  4. A foolish, incongruous, or vain thought or product of the imagination.
  5. (architecture) A grotesque like a gargoyle, but without a spout for rainwater.
  6. (genetics) An organism with genetically distinct cells originating from two or more zygotes.
  7. 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