mermaid

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English[edit]

John W. Waterhouse, A Mermaid, 1900

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English mermayde (maid of the sea), from mere (sea, lake) +‎ maid, equivalent to mer- +‎ maid. Compare Old English meremenn, meremennen, meremenin (mermaid, siren).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈməː.meɪd/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈmɝ.meɪd/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

mermaid (plural mermaids)

  1. A mythological creature with a woman's head and upper body, and a tail of a fish.
    Synonyms: mergirl, merlady, mermaiden, merwoman
    Coordinate terms: melusine, nixie, siren
    Hypernym: merperson
    Hyponyms: mermother, merqueen
    Holonym: merfolk
  2. (as a modifier) Coloured a brilliant turquoise.
    mermaid smoothie
  3. (obsolete) A prostitute.
    Synonyms: hooker, lady of the night; see also Thesaurus:prostitute

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