noun \ ˈnim(p)f \
|Updated on: 25 Jul 2018

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


play \ˈnim(p)-fəl\ adjective

Examples of nymph in a Sentence

  1. she bought the book of fairy tales for the beautiful engravings of nymphs and fairies featured between the stories

  2. the neighborhood nymphs were gathered at the local pizza parlor, checking out the hot guys

Recent Examples of nymph from the Web

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

nymph Synonyms

Other Insect Terms

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


noun \ ˈnimf \

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 Dictionary


noun \ ˈnim(p)f \

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


play \ˈnim(p)-fəl\ adjective

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