One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(in folklore and classical mythology) a nymph inhabiting woodland, especially a dryad or hamadryad.
sprite, sylph, water nymphView synonyms
- ‘According to Greek myth, a nubile young wood nymph named Echo spied young Narcissus walking in the woods.’
- ‘The Greeks believed that every tree had its wood nymph and ever river had its river god.’
- ‘The wood nymph was his love, her spirit re-born and illuminated to him; he smiled and saw her anew.’
- ‘On the phone, she sounded like a coy little wood nymph.’
- ‘A beautiful woman - supposedly a wood nymph - stood partly in the shadows, with moonlight streaming down upon her.’
- ‘I also like to serenade the wood nymphs with my lyre.’
- ‘The water nymphs, hearing Narcissus' farewell, began to weep, and the wood nymphs did, too.’
- ‘It bounded towards her, revealing a short wood nymph with impossibly tangled grey hair.’
- ‘There was a familiarity about her, this princess, this wood nymph, a familiarity he couldn't express or identify.’
- ‘A manipulative wood nymph, Dunphia, competes for the attentions of the impressionable Keano with the pink dolphin god, Fergie.’
- ‘He sits under a tree, panting, and suddenly is visited by a wood nymph!’
- ‘Change the cut of her gown a little, and she could have been a wood nymph of the tales of old.’
- ‘From here she finds herself transported to the snow-covered world of Narnia, the land of wood nymphs and water sprites, kill-joy witches and the royal lion king Aslan, with eyes that are ‘both good and terrible at the same time’.’
- ‘All characters are Asian, and the wood nymphs wear kimonos.’
- ‘Those were the wood nymphs and Pan, friends of mine.’
- ‘These advocates should be ostracized by the scientific community, just as we would ostracize someone who claims to be researching the natural behavior of wood nymphs and faeries.’
2A brown American butterfly of grassy habitats and light woodlands, with large eyespots on the forewings and smaller ones on the hind wings.
Genus Cercyonis, subfamily Satyrinae, family Nymphalidae: several species, in particular the widespread C. pegala
- ‘I believe they were mostly Harris's checkerspots and wood nymphs, or the like, but there were also the occasional monarchs, swallowtails, and mourning cloaks.’
3A dark-colored, green-throated hummingbird, found from Mexico to Argentina.
Genus Thalurania, family Trochilidae: several species, including the common wood nymph (T. furcata) and the Mexican wood nymph (T. ridgwayi)
- ‘I thought of them years later when I was covered in sweat during a cabin-building spree, and a couple of wood nymphs kept landing on my nose for a drink.’
wood nymph/ˈwo͝od ˌnimf/
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