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lamia

[ley-mee-uh] /ˈleɪ mi ə/
noun, plural lamias, lamiae
[ley-mee-ee] /ˈleɪ miˌi/ (Show IPA),
for 1, 2.
1.
Classical Mythology. one of a class of fabulous monsters, commonly represented with the head and breast of a woman and the body of a serpent, said to allure youths and children in order to suck their blood.
2.
a vampire; a female demon.
3.
(initial capital letter, italics) a narrative poem (1819) by John Keats.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin < Greek lámia a female man-eater
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for lamia's

lamia

/ˈleɪmɪə/
noun (pl) -mias, -miae (-mɪˌiː)
1.
(classical myth) one of a class of female monsters depicted with a snake's body and a woman's head and breasts
2.
a vampire or sorceress
Word Origin
C14: via Latin from Greek Lamia
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 lamia's

lamia

n.

late 14c., from Latin lamia, from Greek lamia "female vampire," literally "swallower, lecher," from laimos "throat, gullet." Probably cognate with Latin lemures "spirits of the dead" (see lemur). Used in early translations of the Bible for screech owls and sea monsters. Sometimes also, apparently, mermaids.

Also kynde erreþ in som beestes wondirliche j-schape, as it fareþ in a beest þat hatte lamia, þat haþ an heed as a mayde & body as a grym fissche[;] whan þat best lamya may fynde ony man, first a flatereþ wiþ hym with a wommannes face and makeþ hym ligge by here while he may dure, & whanne he may noferþere suffice to here lecherye þanne he rendeþ hym and sleþ and eteþ hym. [John of Trevisa, translation of Bartholomew de Glanville's "De proprietatibus rerum," 1398]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for lamia's

Lamia

city of central Greece in the Sperkhios River valley at the foot of the Othris Mountains, near the Gulf of Euboea. It is the capital of the Fthiotis nomos (department) and the seat of a bishop of the Greek Orthodox church. Lamia commands the strategic Fourka Pass leading northwestward into Thessaly (Thessalia).

Learn more about Lamia with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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