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Definition of ARIADNE
: a daughter of Minos who helps Theseus escape from the labyrinth
Origin of ARIADNE
Latin, from Greek Ariadnē
First Known Use: 14th century
In Greek mythology, the daughter of Pasiphaë and King Minos of Crete. She fell in love with Theseus, who had promised to slay the Minotaur confined in Minos's Labyrinth. She gave Theseus a ball of thread or glittering jewels that enabled him to mark his path and thus to escape the Labyrinth after killing the monster. Endings to the legend vary. In one, Theseus abandons Ariadne and she hangs herself; in others, he carries her to Naxos, where she either dies or marries the god Dionysus. See alsoPhaedra.