nym·​pho·​lep·​sy ˈnim(p)-fə-ˌlep-sē How to pronounce nympholepsy (audio)
: a demonic enthusiasm held by the ancients to seize one bewitched by a nymph
: a frenzy of emotion
nympholept noun
nympholeptic adjective

Word History


nymph + -o- + -lepsy, after Greek nymphóleptos "possessed by nymphs, frenzied, enraptured," from nýmphē "bride, young wife, nymph of mythology" + -o- -o- + lēptós, verbal adjective of lambánein "to take hold of, seize" — more at latch entry 1

First Known Use

1776, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of nympholepsy was in 1776

Dictionary Entries Near nympholepsy

Cite this Entry

“Nympholepsy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nympholepsy. Accessed 18 May. 2024.

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