Definition of siren
1 often capitalized : any of a group of female and partly human creatures in Greek mythology that lured mariners to destruction by their singing
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 diskb : 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
Examples of siren in a sentence
the wailing of air-raid sirens
<one of history's most famous sirens, Cleopatra charmed both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony>
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.
Origin and Etymology of siren
Middle English, from Medieval French & Latin; Medieval French sereine, from Late Latin sirena, from Latin siren, from Greek seirēn
First Known Use: 14th century
First Known Use of siren
SIREN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of siren for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of siren for Students
: a device that makes a loud warning sound <an ambulance siren>
Seen and Heard
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