Definition of centaur in US English:



Greek Mythology
  • A creature with the head, arms, and torso of a man and the body and legs of a horse.

    • ‘There are elves and centaurs and unicorns and mermaids and flying lynxes and all shapes of mythical things.’
    • ‘I imagined myself fighting against giant rats and drunken centaurs, in shining armour, a sword and shield in hand, and finally discovering the Truth.’
    • ‘In keeping with the theme of the game, many are drawn from mythology, such as harpies, Minotaurs, skeletal centaurs, satyrs et al.’
    • ‘Behind him stood a variety of demons, centaurs, vampires and elves.’
    • ‘Nessus, a centaur, offered to help Hercules get Deianira across the river.’
    • ‘Historically, too, medieval mapmakers and geographers filled unknown regions with such beasties: centaurs, mermaids, manticores and Tartary lambs.’
    • ‘Like giants, centaurs led long lives, and it was almost a certainty that Erwin would survive most everybody else.’
    • ‘When she came back out, three centaurs and three elves lay dead or dying on the grass.’
    • ‘Creatures like Morris's centaurs hardly qualify as fallen men, and they lie outside the church's prim jurisdiction.’
    • ‘By the time they had gotten there, a small herd of young Pegasus, centaurs, and dragons had accumulated behind them, amazed at the two strange creatures.’
    • ‘Under our world exists a chaotic, quarrelsome and crowded underground society of fearsome but stupid goblins, officious gnomes, sprites, technically adept centaurs and other creatures.’
    • ‘In the 5th century political symbolism was couched in mythological terms, and the battles of gods and giants, Greeks and Amazons or Trojans, and Lapiths and centaurs stood for the historical battles of the Persian Wars.’
    • ‘Tales of the centaurs describe them as aggressive and brutal.’
    • ‘Known for great physical power, centaurs have the lower bodies of horses and the upper bodies of a man.’
    • ‘It was about twenty years ago when the world became extinct of free-living banshees, unicorns, centaurs and other creatures.’
    • ‘Seated around the smaller tables were an assortment of fairies, gnomes, centaurs, unicorns, elves, goat men, dragons, and a number of creatures she'd never seen before.’
    • ‘A lengthy section pursues the connections with myth and the centaurs, and the book ends with an ephemeris for the centaurs Chiron, Pholus and Nessus between the years 1900-2050.’
    • ‘King Steven who usurped the English throne in 1096 carried the centaur as his heraldic symbol for that reason.’
    • ‘Caldwell, remember, is the human personification of the wise centaur, Chiron.’
    • ‘They are filled with fawns, centaurs, satyrs and goblins.’


Via Latin from Greek kentauros, the Greek name for a Thessalonian tribe of expert horsemen; of unknown ultimate origin.