Definition of satyr in US English:



  • 1Greek Mythology
    One of a class of lustful, drunken woodland gods. In Greek art they were represented as a man with a horse's ears and tail, but in Roman representations as a man with a goat's ears, tail, legs, and horns.

    • ‘As befits the son of a satyr, Midas was a king who loved the pleasures of this world.’
    • ‘He relates how a satyr found pipes discarded by their inventor, Minerva (the goddess Athena in Greek mythology), how the satyr challenged Apollo, and how he was punished as a result.’
    • ‘Dionysos and his satyrs, nymphs, and maenads are, of course, found everywhere in the ancient world, but they appear most frequently in dining rooms and gardens.’
    • ‘One side depicts Herakles, clad in spotted tunic with dagger drawn, about to slay the Nemean lion; the other, Dionysus and two nude satyrs.’
    • ‘In art, Bacchus is represented as a curly-haired child drinking wine; as a young man, naked apart from a crown of vine leaves and grapes; or heavily drunk, sometimes being put to bed by nymphs and satyrs.’
    1. 1.1 A man who has strong sexual desires.
      • ‘Unfortunately, Sutherland plays a pony-tailed satyr of only limited charm, and Garner, who is a fine comic actor, is never really put to work.’
      • ‘Her confrontation of the insatiable satyr while he has his hand up another honey's haunches is the sole moment of real emotion in what is otherwise a movie of surfaces.’
      • ‘Five years of sexual relations with this satyr of a King were all that she could manage, given what she called her ‘cold temperament’ and her numerous health complications.’
  • 2A satyrid butterfly with chiefly dark brown wings.

    Tribes Satyrini (including the Eurasian genus Satyrus) and Euptychiini (the American wood satyrs), subfamily Satyrinae, family Nymphalidae

    • ‘Meadow grass harbors the tiny caterpillars of ringlets and satyrs.’


Late Middle English: from Old French satyre, or via Latin from Greek saturos.