Skip to main content
Select Source:

nymph (in Greek mythology)

nymph (nĬmf), in Greek mythology, female divinity associated with various natural objects. It is uncertain whether they were immortal or merely long-lived. There was an infinite variety of nymphs. Some represented various localities, e.g., acheloids, or nymphs of the River Achelous; others were identified with the part of nature in which they dwelled, e.g., oreads, or mountain nymphs; and still others were associated with a particular function of nature, e.g., hamadryads, or tree nymphs, whose lives began and ended with that of a particular tree. Nymphs were represented as young, beautiful, musical, amorous, and gentle, although some were associated with the wilder aspects of nature and were akin to satyrs; others were vengeful and capable of destruction, as in the story of Daphne. Other important nymphs were naiads, nymphs of streams, rivers, and lakes; nereids, daughters of Nereus, who lived in the depths of the Mediterranean Sea; dryads, tree nymphs; and oceanids, 3,000 ocean nymphs who were the daughters of Oceanus. Arethusa, Thetis, Calypso, and Echo were famous nymphs. The nymphs' cult was widespread in Greece.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"nymph (in Greek mythology)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Jul. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"nymph (in Greek mythology)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/nymph-greek-mythology

"nymph (in Greek mythology)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved July 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/nymph-greek-mythology

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Nymph

472. Nymph

  1. Atlantides (Pleiades ) seven daughters of Atlas by Pleione. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 37]
  2. Camenae fountain nymphs; identified with Greek Muses. [Rom. Myth.: Zimmerman, 49]
  3. dryads divine maidens of the woods. [Gk. and Rom. Myth.: Wheeler, 108]
  4. hamadryads wood nymphs. [Gk. Myth.: Howe, 113]
  5. Hyades seven daughters of Atlas, entrusted with the care of the infant Dionysus. [Gk. Myth.: Howe, 134]
  6. limoniads nymphs of meadows and flowers. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 152]
  7. naiads divine maidens of lakes, streams, and fountains. [Gk. and Rom. Myth.: Wheeler, 256]
  8. Napaeae nymphs of woodland glens and vales. [Rom. Myth.: Howe, 174]
  9. Nereids sea nymphs of the Mediterranean. [Gk. and Rom. Myth.: Wheeler, 257]
  10. Oceanids sea nymphs of the great oceans. [Gk. and Rom. Myth.: Wheeler, 263]
  11. oreads divine maidens of the mountains. [Gk. and Rom. Myth.: Wheeler, 270]

Obesity (See FATNESS .)

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Nymph." Allusions--Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Jul. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Nymph." Allusions--Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/nymph

"Nymph." Allusions--Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. . Retrieved July 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/nymph

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

nymph

nymph / nimf/ • n. 1. a mythological spirit of nature imagined as a beautiful maiden inhabiting rivers, woods, or other locations. ∎ chiefly poetic/lit. a beautiful young woman. 2. an immature form of an insect that does not change greatly as it grows, e.g., a dragonfly, mayfly, or locust. Compare with larva. ∎  an artificial fly made to resemble the aquatic nymph of an insect, used in fishing. 3. a mainly brown butterfly (subfamily Satyrinae, family Nymphalidae) that frequents woods and forest glades. DERIVATIVES: nymph·al / ˈnimfəl/ adj. nym·phe·an / ˈnimfēən/ adj. nymph·like / -līk/ adj. ORIGIN: late Middle English: from Old French nimphe, from Latin nympha, from Greek numphē ‘nymph, bride.’

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"nymph." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Jul. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"nymph." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/nymph-1

"nymph." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved July 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/nymph-1

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

nymph

nymph a mythological spirit of nature imagined as a beautiful maiden inhabiting rivers, woods, or other locations. Recorded from late Middle English, the word comes via Old French and Latin from Greek numphē ‘nymph, bride’, and is related to Latin nubere ‘be the wife of’.

In literary use from the early 17th century, nymph may be used for a river or stream.
nymphaeum a grotto or shrine dedicated to a nymph or nymphs; a building or part of a building built to represent such a shrine.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"nymph." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Jul. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"nymph." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/nymph

"nymph." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved July 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/nymph

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

nymph

nymph In Greek mythology, a female nature spirit who was said to be a guardian of natural objects. Nymphs were identified with specific locations, often with trees and water.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"nymph." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Jul. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"nymph." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/nymph

"nymph." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved July 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/nymph

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.