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naiad

[ney-ad, -uh d, nahy-] /ˈneɪ æd, -əd, ˈnaɪ-/
noun, plural naiads, naiades
[ney-uh-deez, nahy-] /ˈneɪ əˌdiz, ˈnaɪ-/ (Show IPA)
1.
(sometimes initial capital letter) Classical Mythology. any of a class of nymphs presiding over rivers and springs.
2.
the juvenile form of the dragonfly, damselfly, or mayfly.
3.
a female swimmer, especially an expert one.
4.
Botany. a plant of the genus Najas, having narrow leaves and solitary flowers.
5.
Entomology. an aquatic nymph.
6.
a freshwater mussel.
Origin
< Latin Nāïad- (stem of Nāïas) < Greek Nāïás a water nymph
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for naiads
  • Dragonfly naiads, use jet propulsion, forcibly expelling water out of the rectal chamber.
British Dictionary definitions for naiads

naiad

/ˈnaɪæd/
noun (pl) -ads, -ades (-əˌdiːz)
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.
any of certain freshwater mussels of the genus Unio See mussel (sense 2)
Word Origin
C17: via Latin from Greek nāias water nymph; related to náein to flow
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 naiads

naiad

n.

"water nymph," c.1600, from Latin Nais, Naias (genitive naiadis), from Greek Naias (plural Naiades) "river nymph," from naiein "to flow," from PIE *naw-yo-, suffixed form of root *(s)nau- "to swim, flow, let flow" (see nutriment). Dryden used the Latin singular form Nais, and the plural Naiades is attested in English from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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