nym·​pha·​lid nim-ˈfa-ləd How to pronounce nymphalid (audio) ˈnim-fə-ləd How to pronounce nymphalid (audio)
: any of a family (Nymphalidae) of butterflies (such as a mourning cloak or fritillary) with the first pair of legs being hairy, reduced in size, and useless for walking
nymphalid adjective

Word History


from the stem of New Latin Nymphalidae, family name, from Nymphalis, genus name (from Latin nympha nymph + -ālis -al entry 1) + -idae -idae

Note: The introduction of the genus Nymphalis has been credited to the Polish naturalist Jan Krzysztof Kluk (1739-96) in Zwierząt domowych i dzikich, osobliwie kraiowych, historyi naturalney początki i gospodarstwo, tom 4 (Warszaw, 1780), p. 86.

First Known Use

1897, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nymphalid was in 1897

Dictionary Entries Near nymphalid

Cite this Entry

“Nymphalid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nymphalid. Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

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