Classical Mythology. one of several sea nymphs, part woman and part bird, who lure mariners to destruction by their seductive singing.
a seductively beautiful or charming woman, especially one who beguiles men: a siren of the silver screen.
an acoustical instrument for producing musical tones, consisting essentially of a disk pierced with holes arranged equidistantly in a circle, rotated over a jet or stream of compressed air, steam, or the like, so that the stream is alternately interrupted and allowed to pass.
an implement of this kind used as a whistle, fog signal, or warning device.
any of several aquatic, eellike salamanders of the family Sirenidae, having permanent external gills, small forelimbs, and no posterior limbs.
of or like a siren.
seductive or tempting, especially dangerously or harmfully: the siren call of adventure.
verb (used without object)
to go with the siren sounding, as a fire engine.
verb (used with object)
to allure in the manner of a siren.

1300–50; Middle English sereyn < Old French sereine < Late Latin Sīrēna, Latin Sīrēn < Greek Seirḗn

sirenlike, adjective

2. seductress, temptress, vamp. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To sirenlike
World English Dictionary
siren (ˈsaɪərən)
1.  a device for emitting a loud wailing sound, esp as a warning or signal, typically consisting of a rotating perforated metal drum through which air or steam is passed under pressure
2.  (sometimes capital) Greek myth one of several sea nymphs whose seductive singing was believed to lure sailors to destruction on the rocks the nymphs inhabited
3.  a.  a woman considered to be dangerously alluring or seductive
 b.  (as modifier): her siren charms
4.  any aquatic eel-like salamander of the North American family Sirenidae, having external gills, no hind limbs, and reduced forelimbs
[C14: from Old French sereine, from Latin sīrēn, from Greek seirēn]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

mid-14c., "sea nymph who by her singing lures sailors to their destruction," from O.Fr. sereine, from L.L. Sirena, from L. Siren, from Gk. Seiren ["Odyssey," xii.39 ff.], perhaps lit. "binder," from seira "cord, rope." Meaning "device that makes a warning sound" (on an ambulance, etc.) first recorded
1879, in reference to steamboats. Figurative sense of "one who sings sweetly and charms" is recorded from 1580s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature