Definition of siren
- an ambulance siren
- an air-raid siren
the wailing of air-raid sirens
one of history's most famous sirens, Cleopatra charmed both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony
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.
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.
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
: 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
What made you want to look up siren? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
to cause to suffer severely from hunger
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