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In the Odyssey, Penelope waits 20 long years for her husband Odysseus to return from Troy. During that time, she must raise their son and fend off the attentions of numerous rough suitors. She preserves herself for a long time by saying she cannot remarry until she has finished weaving a funeral shroud for her aging father-in-law; however, what she weaves each day she secretly unravels each night. A Penelope thus appears to be the perfect, patient, faithful wife (and may be using her clever intelligence to keep herself that way).
Origin and Etymology of penelope
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about Penelope
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