Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?
"temptress, treacherous lover," 1590s, from the name of the woman who seduced and betrayed Samson in Judges, from Hebrew Delilah, literally "delicate, languishing, amorous," from Semitic root d-l-l "to hang down, to languish."
languishing, a Philistine woman who dwelt in the valley of Sorek (Judg. 16:4-20). She was bribed by the "lords of the Philistines" to obtain from Samson the secret of his strength and the means of overcoming it (Judg. 16:4-18). She tried on three occasions to obtain from him this secret in vain. On the fourth occasion she wrung it from him. She made him sleep upon her knees, and then called the man who was waiting to help her; who "cut off the seven locks of his head," and so his "strength went from him." (See SAMSON.)
in the Old Testament, the central figure of Samson's last love story (Judges 16). She was a Philistine who, bribed to entrap Samson, coaxed him into revealing that the secret of his strength was his long hair, whereupon she took advantage of his confidence to betray him to his enemies. Her name has since become synonymous with a voluptuous, treacherous woman.