paranymph

noun
para·​nymph | \ ˈper-ə-ˌnim(p)f How to pronounce paranymph (audio) , ˈpa-rə- \

Definition of paranymph

1 : a friend going with a bridegroom to fetch home the bride in ancient Greece also : the bridesmaid conducting the bride to the bridegroom
2a : best man

Did you know?

Paranymph resulted from the marriage of the Greek prefix para- and the Greek word for bride, nymphē. The prefix para- can mean "beside" or "alongside of," as is apparent in the word parallel, from the Greek word parallēlos, a union of para- and the word allēnōn, meaning "of one another." At one time, the word paranymph also was used for a person who solicits or speaks for another - that is, an advocate - but that sense is now very rare.

First Known Use of paranymph

circa 1538, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for paranymph

Late Latin paranymphus, from Greek paranymphos, from para- + nymphē bride — more at nuptial

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Time Traveler for paranymph

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The first known use of paranymph was circa 1538

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Cite this Entry

“Paranymph.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/paranymph. Accessed 5 Dec. 2021.

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