Definition of Tantalus
1 : a legendary king of Lydia condemned to stand up to the chin in a pool of water in Hades and beneath fruit-laden boughs only to have the water or fruit recede at each attempt to drink or eat
2 not capitalized : a locked cellarette with contents visible but not obtainable without a key
Origin of tantalus
Latin, from Greek Tantalos
First Known Use: 14th century
Learn More about tantalus
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about "Tantalus"
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