para·​nymph ˈper-ə-ˌnim(p)f How to pronounce paranymph (audio)
: a friend going with a bridegroom to fetch home the bride in ancient Greece
also : the bridesmaid conducting the bride to the bridegroom

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

circa 1538, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of paranymph was circa 1538


Dictionary Entries Near paranymph

Cite this Entry

“Paranymph.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

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