noun \kī-ˈmir-ə, kə-\

Chimera : a monster from Greek mythology that breathes fire and has a lion's head, a goat's body, and a snake's tail

: something that exists only in the imagination and is not possible in reality

Full Definition of CHIMERA

a capitalized :  a fire-breathing she-monster in Greek mythology having a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail
b :  an imaginary monster compounded of incongruous parts
:  an illusion or fabrication of the mind; especially :  an unrealizable dream <a fancy, a chimera in my brain, troubles me in my prayer — John Donne>
:  an individual, organ, or part consisting of tissues of diverse genetic constitution

Examples of CHIMERA

  1. Economic stability in that country is a chimera.
  2. <a monster in the closet would not have been the first chimera that the boy had seen in his mind's eye>

Origin of CHIMERA

Latin chimaera, from Greek chimaira she-goat, chimera; akin to Old Norse gymbr yearling ewe, Greek cheimōn winter — more at hibernate

Other Genetics Terms

hermaphrodite, plasticity

Rhymes with CHIMERA


noun    (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of CHIMERA

: an individual, organ, or part consisting of tissues of diverse genetic constitution

Biographical Note for CHIMERA

Chimera, Greek mythological character. The Chimera was a fire-breathing she-monster made up of the front parts of a lion, the middle parts of a goat, and the tail of a snake.

Variants of CHIMERA

chi·me·ra or chi·mae·ra \kī-ˈmir-ə, kə-\


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of the 28 species of ancient fishes constituting the subclass Holocephali (class Chondrichthyes), found in temperate to cold waters of all oceans. Like sharks and rays, chimeras have a skeleton of cartilage rather than bone, and the males possess external reproductive organs (claspers). They have a single external gill opening, covered by a flap as in the bony fishes, on each side of the body. Males have a supplemental clasping organ that is unique among fishes. Chimeras have large pectoral and pelvic fins and two dorsal fins, the first preceded by a sharp spine. They range in length from 24 to 80 in. (60 to 200 cm) and in colour from silvery to blackish. They inhabit rivers, estuaries, coastal waters, and open ocean to depths of 8,000 ft (2,500 m) or more. They eat small fishes and invertebrates.

Variants of CHIMERA

chimera or chimaera


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