(Greek myth) the first woman, made out of earth as the gods' revenge on man for obtaining fire from Prometheus. Given a box (Pandora's box) that she was forbidden to open, she disobeyed out of curiosity and released from it all the ills that beset man, leaving only hope within
1579, first mortal woman, made by Hephaestus and given as a bride to Epimetheus, from Gk. pandora "all-gifted," from pan "all" + doron "gift," from PIE base *do- "to give." Pandora's box (1579) refers to her gift from Zeus, which was foolishly opened by Epimetheus, upon which all the contents escaped. They were said to be the host of human ills, or, in a later version, all the blessings of the god, except Hope, which alone remained.