[ney-ad, -uhd, nahy-]
noun, plural naiads, naiades [ney-uh-deez, nahy-] .
(sometimes initial capital letter) Classical Mythology. any of a class of nymphs presiding over rivers and springs.
the juvenile form of the dragonfly, damselfly, or mayfly.
a female swimmer, especially an expert one.
Botany. a plant of the genus Najas, having narrow leaves and solitary flowers.
Entomology. an aquatic nymph.
a freshwater mussel.

< Latin Nāïad- (stem of Nāïas) < Greek Nāïás a water nymph Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
naiad (ˈnaɪæd)
n , pl -ads, -ades
1.  Greek myth a nymph dwelling in a lake, river, spring, or fountain
2.  the aquatic larva of the dragonfly, mayfly, and related insects
3.  Also called: water nymph any monocotyledonous submerged aquatic plant of the genus Naias (or Najas), having narrow leaves and small flowers: family Naiadaceae (or Najadaceae)
4.  See mussel any of certain freshwater mussels of the genus Unio
[C17: via Latin from Greek nāias water nymph; related to náein to flow]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"water nymph," 1610, from L. naias (gen. naiadis), from Gk. Naias (pl. Naiades) "river nymph," from naiein "to flow," from PIE *sna- (cf. L. nare "to swim," Skt. snauti "drips;" see natatorium).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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