noun \ˈmi-nə-ˌtr, ˈmī-\

Definition of MINOTAUR

:  a monster shaped half like a man and half like a bull, confined in the labyrinth built by Daedalus for Minos, and given a periodic tribute of youths and maidens as food until slain by Theseus

Origin of MINOTAUR

Middle English, from Latin Minotaurus, from Greek Minōtauros, from Minōs + tauros bull
First Known Use: 14th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In Greek mythology, a monster of Crete with the body of a man and the head of a bull. It was the offspring of Pasiphaë, wife of King Minos, and a snow-white bull sent by Poseidon and intended for sacrifice. When Minos kept it instead, the god punished him by making his wife fall in love with the bull. The Minotaur (whose name means “Minos bull”) was imprisoned in the Labyrinth built by Daedalus. After defeating Athens in a war, Minos forced the Athenians to send human tribute to be devoured by the Minotaur. The third year the tribute was sent, Theseus volunteered to go, and with the help of Ariadne he killed the monster.


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