Definition of nymph
1 : any of the minor divinities of nature in classical mythology represented as beautiful maidens dwelling in the mountains, forests, trees, and waters
2 : girl Fair nymphs, and well-dressed youths around her shone … — Alexander Pope
3 : any of various immature insects; especially : a larva of an insect (such as a grasshopper, true bug, or mayfly) with incomplete (see incomplete 2) metamorphosis (see metamorphosis 2) that differs from the imago (see imago 1) especially in size and in its incompletely developed wings and genitalia
nymphalplay \ˈnim(p)-fəl\ adjective
Examples of nymph in a Sentence
she bought the book of fairy tales for the beautiful engravings of nymphs and fairies featured between the stories
the neighborhood nymphs were gathered at the local pizza parlor, checking out the hot guys
Recent Examples of nymph from the Web
Berry Bros. Guide Service reports: Water below Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River has cleared; trout good on olive woolly buggers, nymphs, midges, San Juan worms and sowbugs.
These women tapped into a long line of mythic female figures—the nymph, the witch, the fairy, the crone—who have used metamorphosis in order to outwit, and outpace, their more solid, and literal, male kin.
Traps baited with their blend caught all types of bed bugs: nymphs and adults; males and females; and both fed and unfed bed bugs.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nymph'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of nymph
Middle English nimphe, from Middle French, from Latin nympha bride, nymph, from Greek nymphē — more at nuptial
First Known Use: 14th century
NYMPH Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of nymph for English Language Learners
in stories : a spirit in the shape of a young woman who lives in mountains, forests, meadows, and water
: a young insect that has almost the same form as the adult
NYMPH Defined for Kids
Definition of nymph for Students
1 : one of many goddesses in old legends represented as beautiful young women living in the mountains, forests, and waters
2 : an immature insect that differs from the adult chiefly in being of smaller size and having undeveloped wings
Medical Definition of nymph
1: any of various hemimetabolous insects in an immature stage and especially a late larva (as of a true bug) in which rudiments of the wings and genitalia are present; broadly : any insect larva that differs chiefly in size and degree of differentiation from the imago
2: a mite or tick in the first eight-legged form that immediately follows the last larval molt
3: a nymphal stage in the life cycle of an insect or acarid
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up nymph? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).