: spirits of the unburied dead exorcised from homes in early Roman religious rites

Word History


borrowed from Latin lemurēs, plural, "malevolent spirits of the dead," probably of non-Indo-European origin

First Known Use

1555, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lemures was in 1555

Dictionary Entries Near lemures

Cite this Entry

“Lemures.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lemures. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on lemures

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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