\ ˈnim(p)f How to pronounce nymph (audio) \

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 sense 3) metamorphosis (see metamorphosis sense 2) that differs from the imago (see imago sense 1) especially in size and in its incompletely developed wings and genitalia

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Other Words from nymph

nymphal \ ˈnim(p)-​fəl How to pronounce nymph (audio) \ 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 on the Web The insects are genetically programmed to emerge after spending nearly two decades underground in their nymph state eating tree root sap. Suzanne Rowan Kelleher, Forbes, "Mother Nature’s Epic ‘Cicada-Palooza’ Is Coming Soon To 15 States," 3 Apr. 2021 Periodical cicadas from Brood X have lived underground in wingless nymph form since 2004, about a foot or two down, feeding on sap from tree roots. USA Today, "When will the cicadas emerge in 2021? How long will they be around after they come out? When will they be back?," 30 Mar. 2021 The spot is marked by a Napoleon III–era statue of a river nymph. Diane Johnson, The New York Review of Books, "We’ll Always Have Paris," 23 Mar. 2021 Most fly anglers these days favor olive and black Wooly Buggers or various bead-head nymph patterns fished on a 4 or 5 weight outfit. Jim Gronaw, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Jim Gronaw: The quest for native browns | OUTDOORS COMMENTARY," 6 Mar. 2021 The snack bar was partially excavated in 2019, leading to the discovery of a counter decorated with a fresco of a Nereid, or sea nymph, riding a seahorse, along with what appears to be a depiction of the restaurant itself. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, "Ancient Pompeiians Stopped at This ‘Snack Bar’ to Feast on Snails, Fish and Wine," 30 Dec. 2020 The counter boasts an image of an undersea nymph astride a horse. Fox News, "Pompeii dig uncovers secrets from unearthed fast-food restaurant," 28 Dec. 2020 Plant and animal specialists are still analyzing remains from the site, with its counter frescoed with a figure of an undersea nymph astride a horse. Frances D'emilio, chicagotribune.com, "Mallards, goats, snails, wine: Archaeologists dig up a fast-food spot in Pompeii," 26 Dec. 2020 One nymph grew green and broad, just like her mother. New York Times, "He Was a Stick, She Was a Leaf; Together They Made History," 1 Dec. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of nymph

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nymph

Middle English nimphe, from Middle French, from Latin nympha bride, nymph, from Greek nymphē — more at nuptial

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Time Traveler for nymph

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for nymph

Last Updated

16 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nymph.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nymph. Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for nymph



English Language Learners Definition of nymph

in stories : a spirit in the shape of a young woman who lives in mountains, forests, meadows, and water
technical : a young insect that has almost the same form as the adult


\ ˈnimf How to pronounce nymph (audio) \

Kids Definition of nymph

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


\ ˈnim(p)f How to pronounce nymph (audio) \

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

Other Words from nymph

nymphal \ ˈnim(p)-​fəl How to pronounce nymph (audio) \ adjective

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