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

chiefly British spelling of chimera


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: 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
Kerby also encountered chimaeras, or ghost sharks, primitive cartilaginous fish with big heads, pointy snouts, fins like airplane wings, long trailing tails and shiny silver-dollar eyes. Susan Casey, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Aug. 2023 Fish with cartilage, part of the chondrichthyan group, include sharks, skates, rays and chimaera. CBS News, 20 Oct. 2022 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chimaera.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



New Latin, genus name, from Latin, chimera

First Known Use


1804, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of chimaera was in 1804

Dictionary Entries Near chimaera

Cite this Entry

“Chimaera.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

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