Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Adonis

play
noun Ado·nis \ə-ˈdä-nəs, -ˈdō-\

Definition of Adonis

  1. 1 :  a youth loved by Aphrodite who is killed at hunting by a wild boar and restored to Aphrodite from Hades for a part of each year

  2. 2 :  a very handsome young man



Did You Know?

Adonis, like Narcissus, was a beautiful youth in Greek mythology. He was loved by both Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, and Persephone, goddess of the underworld. One day while hunting, he was killed by a wild boar. In answer to Aphrodite's pleas, Zeus allowed him to spend half the year with her and half in the underworld. Today a man called an Adonis probably has strikingly fine features, low body fat, rippling muscles—and a certain vain attitude of overconfidence. Adonises should beware; the boar that killed Adonis was sent by either the jealous Artemis (goddess of hunting) or the envious Ares (god of war).

Origin and Etymology of adonis

Latin, from Greek Adōnis


First Known Use: 1565


Medical Dictionary

adonis

play play
noun ado·nis \ə-ˈdän-əs, -ˈdō-nəs\

Medical Definition of adonis

  1. 1 capitalized :  a small genus of herbs of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae) having alternate finely dissected leaves and solitary red or yellow flowers

  2. 2:  the herbage of a plant of the genus Adonis (A. vernalis) formerly used like digitalis to treat dropsy



Biographical Note for adonis

Adonis,

, Greek mythological character. Adonis was a beautiful youth much loved by the goddess Aphrodite. While hunting he was attacked and killed by a wild boar. The grieving Aphrodite caused a red-flowered plant to spring forth from his shed blood. Linnaeus named the genus Adonis after the mythological character.


Learn More about adonis


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up Adonis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a secret group of plotters

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

acommodate accommodate accomodate acommadate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ