siren

noun
si·​ren | \ ˈsī-rən How to pronounce siren (audio) , 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
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 How to pronounce siren (audio) \

Definition of siren (Entry 2 of 2)

: resembling that of a siren : enticing

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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

Many self-driving cars also have microphones that give them a sense of hearing, allowing them to detect honking horns, blaring sirens, screeching tires, and so forth. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "This startup helps self-driving cars literally feel the road," 11 Sep. 2018 By adding acoustic technology IVO, could one day respond to horns, sirens, or human voices. Erin Biba, Popular Mechanics, "Robot, You Can Drive My Car," 8 Aug. 2018 The entire interview — totally uncut and complete with interruptions from passing emergency sirens, audio issues, and asides to the camera operators — is worth watching. Nilay Patel, The Verge, "Casey Neistat interviews Logan Paul: ‘There’s a difference between being culturally insensitive and being insensitive’," 27 July 2018 The incident set off sirens throughout northern Israel and residents were forced to rush into shelters. Tia Goldenberg, The Seattle Times, "Israel activates missile defense system after Syria rockets," 23 July 2018 The itinerary will be guided by gods, cyclops, sirens, and heroes of ancient Greece. Laura Dannen Redman, Condé Nast Traveler, "18 Summers: The Ultimate Guide to Not Wasting a Single Vacation With Your Kids," 20 July 2018 The Israeli military struck dozens of militant sites in Gaza overnight as rocket fire continued toward southern Israeli communities into early Wednesday morning, setting off air raid sirens in the area throughout the night. Fares Akram, The Christian Science Monitor, "Israel and Hamas agree to cease-fire," 30 May 2018 All of that would set off the sirens for change at the Bernabeu, and the 32-year-old Ronaldo figures to be a more likely candidate to be sent elsewhere than the 28-year-old Gareth Bale. Avi Creditor, SI.com, "Biggest Names Still in the Shop Window Ahead of January's Transfer Deadline," 30 Jan. 2018 Ambulances occasionally sped past them with sirens blaring, following police escorts toward medical facilities in Mataram, the provincial capital. I Made Sentana, WSJ, "Indonesians Estimated to Have Been Displaced by Quake Exceed 150,000," 8 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Emergency vehicle drivers face greater traffic in the city, more soundproofed cars and drivers who sometimes wear earbuds while driving, which often necessitate more siren use. Melanie Grayce West, WSJ, "New York City Council Members Want to Dial Down Sirens," 13 Feb. 2019

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

9 Apr 2019

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
: 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 How to pronounce siren (audio) \

Kids Definition of siren

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on siren

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with siren

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for siren

Spanish Central: Translation of siren

Nglish: Translation of siren for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of siren for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about siren

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