Definition of siren in English:



  • 1A device that makes a loud prolonged sound as a signal or warning.

    ‘ambulance sirens’
    • ‘The nation came to a standstill in a two-minute silence at 10.00 am, signalled by deafening air-raid sirens and traffic grinding to a halt.’
    • ‘He dozed off into a pleasant slumber before being woken up to the sound of Klaxon sirens and flashing red lights from the hallway.’
    • ‘Although no-one was directly injured, alarm sirens began to sound throughout the control room.’
    • ‘The sound of sirens filled the air as fire engines and ambulances dashed to the scene.’
    • ‘The sirens screamed even louder as the ambulance had arrived.’
    • ‘After a few seconds, the sirens started to sound louder again.’
    • ‘Sounding her siren and firing distress rockets the ship tried desperately to make the beach but as the lifeboat crews assembled the steamer gave a final lurch and went down.’
    • ‘There were police cars, ambulances and fire engines, all sounding sirens in an endless procession south.’
    • ‘The sound of air raid sirens filled the air, and hundreds of people dressed as soldiers of different nationalities filled the streets of Pickering for the seventh annual wartime weekend.’
    • ‘A loud klaxon and a blaring siren signaled the start of the balloon busting derby.’
    • ‘Ironically, the sound of the sirens disappeared after the gang fled.’
    • ‘As if on cue, the sounds of an ambulance siren pierced the air.’
    • ‘The loud sound of sirens suddenly pierced the quiet scene and she jumped up instantly.’
    • ‘If you listen carefully to an ambulance siren or a train whistle, you will notice that the noise sounds higher while the vehicle is approaching, and lower after the vehicle has passed by.’
    • ‘Most of the war was spent at Windsor castle, where the princesses learned the art of rolling out of bed and into air raid shelters when the sirens sounded.’
    • ‘As Nagasaki had been targeted in the past, people in the city had become blasé when the air raid siren sounded.’
    • ‘When the sensor picks up violent movement, such as the item being grabbed, a signal is sent to a base unit which sounds a siren.’
    • ‘Just then, she heard the loud blaring sound of an ambulance siren as it screamed by her vehicle, hurrying up the road in the one empty lane that had been sectioned off by orange cones.’
    • ‘I began to notice the constant sounds of sirens and loud unexplained noises.’
    • ‘The piercing alarms of air raid sirens were signalling an attack.’
    alarm, alarm bell, warning bell, danger signal
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  • 2Greek Mythology
    Each of a number of women or winged creatures whose singing lured unwary sailors onto rocks.

    • ‘The vacant-eyed sirens sing only to the moon and a passing sea-bird.’
    • ‘There was an altogether more subtle look at his show which drew on Homer and Plato's tales of sirens singing unsuspecting sailors to their deaths.’
    • ‘There was also a balcony that overlooked the ocean, where he swore that the sounds of the waves were truly mythical sirens singing him to sleep.’
    • ‘He's smart enough to avoid things like singing sirens.’
    • ‘Both sirens and mermaids have musical talents; bird-sirens sing and play the pipes and the lyre, whereas mermaids rely on their voices to entice sailors to their death.’
    1. 2.1A woman who is considered to be alluring or fascinating but also dangerous in some way.
      • ‘He hadn't been able to resist this still elegant, once-upon-a-time siren, whose beauty had been hidden by the unkindness of time and circumstance.’
      • ‘She is the movie's sexpot, a siren that irresistibly attracts men.’
      • ‘Get in tough with your inner siren and go for high-octane glamour: think sequins, heels and a slash of red lipstick’
      • ‘It's as if she can't make up her mind whether she wants to be a siren, a vamp or a frump.’
      • ‘Dubbed the ‘Girl with the Perfect Figure,’ Page was one of America's first sex sirens.’
      • ‘They've got the glossy good looks and fleeting A-list appeal to grab a famous Liam, but want to be more than lucky pop princesses turned tacky tabloid sirens.’
      • ‘Reich is currently on a three-month North American wildride with fellow siren, slow-burning folkie Addie Brownlee.’
      seductress, temptress, femme fatale, mata hari, enchantress, circe, lorelei, delilah
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  • 3An eel-like American amphibian with tiny forelimbs, no hind limbs, small eyes, and external gills, typically living in muddy pools.

    • ‘Adults sirens are aquatic and neotenic, with lengths ranging from 4-36 inches.’
    • ‘I presented a captive Siren with a small crayfish once.’
    • ‘Sirens are probably the most ancient line of salamanders now alive on planet earth.’


Middle English (denoting an imaginary type of snake): from Old French sirene, from late Latin Sirena, feminine of Latin Siren, from Greek Seirēn.