Tantalus

noun
Tan·​ta·​lus | \ ˈtan-tə-ləs How to pronounce Tantalus (audio) \

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

First Known Use of Tantalus

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for Tantalus

Latin, from Greek Tantalos

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The first known use of Tantalus was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Tantalus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Tantalus. Accessed 25 Oct. 2020.

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