la·​mia | \ ˈlā-mē-ə How to pronounce lamia (audio) \

Definition of lamia

: a female demon : vampire

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According to Greek mythology, Lamia was a queen of Libya who was beloved by Zeus. When Hera, Zeus's wife, robbed Lamia of her children from this union, Lamia killed every child she could get into her power. Stories were also told of a fiend named Lamia who, in the form of a beautiful woman, seduced young men in order to devour them and who also sucked the blood of children. Such nightmarish legends compelled poet John Keats, and many other writers before and after him, to write their own tales of Lamia, which still haunt and terrify those souls who dare read them.

First Known Use of lamia

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lamia

Middle English, from Latin, from Greek, devouring monster; akin to Greek lamyros gluttonous

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

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Cite this Entry

“Lamia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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Lamia geographical name

La·​mia | \ lä-ˈmē-ä How to pronounce Lamia (audio) \

Definition of Lamia

city in east central Greece northwest of Thermopylae population 43,898

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