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Amazon

[am-uh-zon, -zuh n] /ˈæm əˌzɒn, -zən/
noun
1.
a river in N South America, flowing E from the Peruvian Andes through N Brazil to the Atlantic Ocean: the largest river in the world in volume of water carried. 3900 miles (6280 km) long.
2.
Classical Mythology. one of a race of female warriors said to dwell near the Black Sea.
3.
one of a fabled tribe of female warriors in South America.
4.
(often lowercase) a tall, powerful, aggressive woman.
6.
any of several green parrots of the genus Amazona, of tropical America, often kept as pets.
Origin
< Latin Amazōn < Greek Amazṓn, of obscure origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for amazons

amazon

/ˈæməzən/
noun
1.
any of various tropical American parrots of the genus Amazona, such as A. farinosa (green amazon), having a short tail and mainly green plumage

Amazon1

/ˈæməzən/
noun
1.
(Greek myth) one of a race of women warriors of Scythia near the Black Sea
2.
one of a legendary tribe of female warriors of South America
3.
(often not capital) any tall, strong, or aggressive woman
Derived Forms
Amazonian (ˌæməˈzəʊnɪən) adjective
Word Origin
C14: via Latin from Greek Amazōn, of uncertain origin

Amazon2

/ˈæməzən/
noun
1.
a river in South America, rising in the Peruvian Andes and flowing east through N Brazil to the Atlantic: in volume, the largest river in the world; navigable for 3700 km (2300 miles). Length: over 6440 km (4000 miles). Area of basin: over 5 827 500 sq km (2 250 000 sq miles)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for amazons

Amazon

n.

late 14c., from Greek Amazon (mostly in plural Amazones) "one of a race of female warriors in Scythia," probably from an unknown non-Indo-European word, possibly from an Iranian compound *ha-maz-an- "(one) fighting together" [Watkins], but in folk etymology long derived from a- "without" + mazos "breasts," hence the story that the Amazons cut or burned off one breast so they could draw bowstrings more efficiently.

The river in South America (originally called by the Spanish Rio Santa Maria de la Mar Dulce) rechristened by Francisco de Orellana, 1541, after an encounter with female warriors of the Tapuyas (or, as some say, beardless, long-haired male tribesmen; still others hold that the name is a corruption of a native word in Tupi or Guarani meaning "wave").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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amazons in Culture

Amazons definition


In classical mythology, a nation of warrior women. The Amazons burned or cut off one of their breasts so that they could use a bow and arrow more efficiently in war.

Note: Figuratively, an “Amazon” is a large, strong, aggressive woman.
Note: The Amazon River of South America was so named because tribes of women warriors were believed to live along its banks.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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