chi·​mae·​ra | \ kī-ˈmir-ə How to pronounce chimaera (audio) , kə- \

Definition of chimaera

 (Entry 1 of 2)

chiefly British spelling of



Definition of chimaera (Entry 2 of 2)

: any of a family (Chimaeridae) of marine cartilaginous fishes with a tapering or threadlike tail and usually no anal fin

Examples of chimaera in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Critical missing details about the species' life cycle makes monitoring chimaera populations difficult, the New York Times reports. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Feb. 2022 The exhibit will also introduce ones that might not be as commonly known to the general public, including the torpedo ray and the longnose chimaera. Michele Herrmann, Forbes, 23 Dec. 2021 Rays are the most threatened, with 41 percent of 611 species studied being at risk; 36 percent of 536 sharks species are at risk; and 9 percent of 52 chimaera species. Karen Mcveigh, Wired, 11 Sep. 2021 These organoids can be either chimaera of human or animal cells or slices of human brain tissue. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, 28 Apr. 2018 Previously discovered in the deep sea near Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia, researchers observed the pointy-nosed blue chimaera in the North Pacific for the first time in 2009 (see video above). Casey Smith, National Geographic, 28 July 2017 Scientists from Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland analyzed 250 DNA samples of Mycobacterium chimaera, an organism typically found in soil and tap water. Jonel Aleccia, Kaiser Health News, 12 July 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chimaera.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of chimaera


1804, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for chimaera


New Latin, genus name, from Latin, chimera

Learn More About chimaera

Time Traveler for chimaera

Time Traveler

The first known use of chimaera was in 1804

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near chimaera




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for chimaera

Cite this Entry

“Chimaera.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on chimaera Encyclopedia article about chimaera


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!