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banshee

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noun ban·shee \ˈban-(ˌ)shē, ban-ˈ\

Simple Definition of banshee

  • : a female spirit in Irish and Scottish stories who cries loudly to warn people that someone is going to die soon

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of banshee

  1. :  a female spirit in Gaelic folklore whose appearance or wailing warns a family that one of them will soon die

Examples of banshee in a sentence

  1. I heard someone wailing like a banshee.



Did You Know?

In Irish folklore, a "bean sidhe" (literally "woman of fairyland") was not a welcome guest. When she was seen combing her hair or heard wailing beneath a window, it was considered a sign that a family member was about to die. English speakers modified the mournful fairy's Irish name into the modern word banshee - a term we now most often use to evoke her woeful or terrible or earsplitting cry, as in "to scream like a banshee," or attributively, "a banshee wail."

Origin of banshee

Irish bean sídhe & Scottish Gaelic bean sìth, literally, woman of fairyland


First Known Use: 1771

Other Mythology and Folklore Terms

Rhymes with banshee

ackee, Agee, agley, aiguille, agree, Albee, alee, ani, at sea, Attlee, Bacchae, bailee, Bangui, bargee, bawbee, bee tree, Belgae, big tree, bohea, bootee, bougie, break free, buckshee, burgee, Bt, callee, Capri, carefree, CB, CD, Chablis, Chaldee, chickpea, chili, church key, confit, cowpea, croquis, curie, dead-tree, debris, decree, deep-sea, degree, Denis, donee, DP, draftee, drawee, Dundee, emcee, ennui, esprit, etui, farci, feoffee, flame tree, foresee, for free, fringe tree, fusee, GB, germfree, glacis, goatee, grandee, grand prix, grantee, green tea, GT, heart-free, he/she, high sea, high tea, Horae, hot key, Humvee, IC, in fee, IV, Jaycee, jaygee, jayvee, Jiangxi, knock-knee, KP, latchkey, lessee, listee, look-see, low-key, LP, lychee, mamey, maquis, Marie, marquee, MC, mentee, Midi, mille-feuille, muggee, must-see, Nancy, ngwee, North Sea, OD, off-key, ogee, Osee, Parcae, pardie, Parsi, passkey, Pawnee, payee, PC, Pee Dee, peewee, pewee, PG, pledgee, pollee, pongee, post-free, précis, puree, puttee, qt, raki, rani, razee, Red Sea, rooftree, Ross Sea, rupee, rushee, RV, scot-free, settee, Shaanxi, shade tree, Shanxi, s/he, shift key, shoe tree, sightsee, signee, silk tree, sirree, smoke tree, snap pea, snow pea, spadille, spahi, spondee, squeegee, standee, state tree, strophe, suttee, sweat bee, sycee, TB, tepee, testee, 3-D, titi, to-be, toll-free, topee, to sea, towhee, townee, trainee, Tralee, trochee, trustee, Tupi, turfski, turnkey, tutee, Tutsi, tutti, TV, unbe, vendee, vestee, Volsci, vouchee, whangee, whoopee, wind tee, would-be, Yangtze, yen-shee


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