siren

noun
si·​ren | \ˈsī-rən, for sense 3 also sī-ˈrēn\

Definition of siren 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 often capitalized : any of a group of female and partly human creatures in Greek mythology that lured mariners to destruction by their singing

2a : a woman who sings with enchanting sweetness

b : temptress

c : temptation sense 2

3a : an apparatus producing musical tones especially in acoustical studies by the rapid interruption of a current of air, steam, or fluid by a perforated rotating disk

b : a device often electrically operated for producing a penetrating warning sound an ambulance siren an air-raid siren

4 [ New Latin, from Latin ] : either of two North American eel-shaped amphibians that constitute a genus (Siren) and have small forelimbs but neither hind legs nor pelvis and have permanent external gills as well as lungs

siren

adjective
si·​ren | \ˈsī-rən \

Definition of siren (Entry 2 of 2)

: resembling that of a siren : enticing

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Synonyms for siren

Synonyms: Noun

enchantress, seductress, temptress

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Did You Know?

The sirens were a group of partly human female creatures that lured sailors onto destructive rocks with their singing. Odysseus and his men encountered the sirens on their long journey home from Troy. The only way to sail by them safely was to make oneself deaf to their enchanting song, so Odysseus packed the men's ears with wax, while he himself, ever curious, kept his ears open but had himself tied to the mast to keep from flinging himself into the water or steering his ship toward sure destruction in his desire to see them. A siren today is a sinister but almost irresistible woman. A siren song, however, may be any appeal that lures a person to act against his or her better judgment.

Examples of siren in a Sentence

Noun

the wailing of air-raid sirens one of history's most famous sirens, Cleopatra charmed both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At one point, the soundtrack, which had earlier included a TV news snippet about children being separated from their families at the border, broke into the wail of a siren. New York Times, "New York Men’s Fashion Week: The Mixtape," 11 July 2018 Pikes Peak rules require electric entrants to have a siren to alert spectators. Dan Neil, WSJ, "Volkswagen’s All-Electric Effort to Climb Out of Its P.R. Hole," 4 July 2018 There are a few additions to the law enforcement edition such as a storage rack on the back, police decals, and red/blue lights on the front and back along with a siren. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "South Milwaukee Police add motorized, locally built 'Cheata Bike' to their relaunched bicycle patrol," 2 July 2018 Nobody perceived a threat, and not a siren could be heard. Kyle Dickman, Outside Online, "What the West Can Learn from Florida About Forest Fires," 27 June 2018 In 2014, a flood warning siren was installed to alert people near Mission Espada. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, "The 2013 deluge went down in the record books," 19 May 2018 To cement the moment's status as one worthy of a summertime siren, the model applied an ample streak of blush topped with luminous highlighter, her complexion and exposed back playing host to a bronze goddess glow. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Bella Hadid's Risky Skin Reveal Comes Down to This Tiny Detail," 14 May 2018 Dawg takes a synth loop and screeches it into the night sky like a siren. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Here Are the 10 Best Post Malone Remixes," 30 Apr. 2018 The 12th is a siren of deceit, a perfumed Jezebel dressed to kill. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Masters 2018: Doc renames some holes at Augusta National Golf Club," 3 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'siren.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of siren

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1568, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for siren

Noun

Middle English, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French sereine, from Late Latin sirena, from Latin siren, from Greek seirēn

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Dictionary Entries near siren

Siredon

sire index

sireless

siren

siren call

Sirenia

sirenian

Statistics for siren

Last Updated

22 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for siren

The first known use of siren was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for siren

siren

noun

English Language Learners Definition of siren

: a piece of equipment that produces a loud, high-pitched warning sound

: a woman who is very attractive but also dangerous

Siren : one of a group of female creatures in Greek mythology whose singing attracted sailors and caused them to sail into dangerous water or toward rocks

siren

noun
si·​ren | \ˈsī-rən \

Kids Definition of siren

: a device that makes a loud warning sound an ambulance siren

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Comments on siren

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