naiad

noun

na·​iad ˈnā-əd How to pronounce naiad (audio)
ˈnī-,
-ˌad How to pronounce naiad (audio)
plural naiads or naiades ˈnā-ə-ˌdēz How to pronounce naiad (audio)
ˈnī-
1
: any of the nymphs in classical mythology living in and giving life to lakes, rivers, springs, and fountains
2
: an aquatic insect nymph (as of a mayfly, dragonfly, damselfly, or stone fly)
3
: any of a genus (Najas of the family Najadaceae) of submerged aquatic plants

Examples of naiad in a Sentence

in Greek mythology, naiads supposedly drowned the young men with whom they became enamored students in science class learning how to distinguish a dragonfly naiad from an earthworm
Recent Examples on the Web And now, as played with fierce physicality and grueling commitment by Annette Bening, Diana is a movie character: an impossible person who achieved the impossible, a naiad whose truer mythological counterpart might be Narcissus. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 20 Oct. 2023 Leighton set his youthful figure — a classical nymph or naiad — in a Mediterranean setting. Washington Post, 12 Oct. 2022 The lovely Arcadia region, lush with cypress, poplar, and olive groves, bears traces of the virgin wilderness where nymphs, naiads, and the horned god Pan once frolicked. Thomas Linkel, National Geographic, 18 July 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'naiad.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French naïade, from Latin naiad-, naias, from Greek, from nan to flow — more at nourish

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of naiad was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near naiad

Cite this Entry

“Naiad.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/naiad. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

naiad

noun
na·​iad ˈnā-əd How to pronounce naiad (audio) ˈnī- How to pronounce naiad (audio)
-ˌad
plural naiads or naiades -ə-ˌdēz How to pronounce naiad (audio)
1
: one of the nymphs living in lakes, rivers, springs, and fountains
2
: a water-dwelling larva of some insects (as a mayfly, dragonfly, damselfly, or stone fly)

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