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Harpy

[hahr-pee] /ˈhɑr pi/
noun, plural Harpies.
1.
Classical Mythology. a ravenous, filthy monster having a woman's head and a bird's body.
2.
(lowercase) a scolding, nagging, bad-tempered woman; shrew.
3.
(lowercase) a greedy, predatory person.
Origin
< Latin Harpȳia, singular of Harpȳiae < Greek Hárpȳiai (plural), literally, snatchers, akin to harpázein to snatch away
Related forms
harpylike, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Harpy

harpy

/ˈhɑːpɪ/
noun (pl) -pies
1.
a cruel grasping woman
Word Origin
C16: from Latin Harpyia, from Greek Harpuiai the Harpies, literally: snatchers, from harpazein to seize

Harpy

/ˈhɑːpɪ/
noun (pl) -pies
1.
(Greek myth) a ravenous creature with a woman's head and trunk and a bird's wings and claws
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for Harpy
harpy
late 14c., from Gk. Harpyia (pl.), lit. "snatchers," probably related to harpazein "to snatch" (see rapid). In Homer, personification of whirlwinds and hurricanes; in Hesiod called sisters of Aello and Iris; later represented as ministers of divine vengeance: winged, clawed monsters with female heads and bodies. Metaphoric extension to "greedy person" is c.1400.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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