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Definition of TIRESIAS
: a blind seer of Thebes who in one Greek myth is changed into a woman for several years and then changed back to a man
Origin of TIRESIAS
Latin, from Greek Teiresias
First Known Use: 14th century
In Greek mythology, a blind Theban seer. In Homer's Odyssey he retained his prophetic gifts even in the underworld, where Odysseus was sent to consult him. His prophecy led to the tragedy of Oedipus. It was said that Tiresias lived for seven generations and that he was once turned into a woman for killing the female of two mating snakes; upon thereafter killing the male, he reverted to male. According to one legend, he was blinded by Hera for arguing, on the basis of his unique experience, that women derive greater pleasure from sex than men do; his gift of prophecy was a compensatory gesture from Zeus.