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proper nounGreek Mythology
The daughter of Pandion, king of Athens. She was turned into a swallow and her sister Procne into a nightingale (or, in Latin versions, into a nightingale with Procne the swallow) when they were being pursued by the cruel Tereus, who had married Procne and raped Philomela.
Earlier as philomene, from medieval Latin philomena, from Latin philomela nightingale from Greek philomēla.
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