harpy

Definitions

  • Soldiers fight to drive back the harpies
    Soldiers fight to drive back the harpies
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n harpy large black-and-white crested eagle of tropical America
    • n harpy any of various fruit bats of the genus Nyctimene distinguished by nostrils drawn out into diverging tubes
    • n Harpy (Greek mythology) vicious winged monster; often depicted as a bird with the head of a woman
    • n harpy a malicious woman with a fierce temper
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Harpy (Gr. Myth) A fabulous winged monster, ravenous and filthy, having the face of a woman and the body of a vulture, with long claws, and the face pale with hunger. Some writers mention two, others three. "Both table and provisions vanished quite.
      With sound of harpies' wings and talons heard."
    • Harpy (Zoöl) A large and powerful, double-crested, short-winged American eagle (Thrasaëtus harpyia). It ranges from Texas to Brazil.
    • Harpy One who is rapacious or ravenous; an extortioner. "The harpies about all pocket the pool."
    • Harpy (Zoöl) The European moor buzzard or marsh harrier (Circus æruginosus).
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n Harpy In Greek myth, a winged monster, ravenous and filthy, having the face and body of a woman and the wings of a bird of prey, with the feet and fingers armed with sharp claws and the face pale with hunger, serving as a minister of divine vengeance, and defiling everything it touched. The harpies were commonly regarded either as two (Aëllo and Ocypete) or three in number, but occasionally several others are mentioned. They were originally conceived of simply as storm-winds sent by the gods to carry off offenders, and were later personified as fair-haired winged maidens, their features and characteristics being more or less repulsive at different times and places. The harpies have been to some extent confounded by modern scholars with the sirens, which, though of kindred origin, were goddesses of melody, even if of a sweetness that was harmful to mankind, and were represented as women in the upper parts of their bodies and as birds below.
    • n Harpy Hence A rapacious, grasping person; one who is repulsively greedy and unfeeling.
    • n Harpy In ornithology: The harpy-eagle.
    • n Harpy An English book-name of the marsh-harrier or moor-buzzard, Circus æruginosus. Also called white - headed harpy.
    • n Harpy In mammalogy, a fruit-bat of the genus Harpyia.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Harpy här′pi (myth.) a rapacious and filthy monster, with the body of a woman and the wings, feet, and claws of a bird of prey, considered as a minister of the vengeance of the gods:
    • n Harpy här′pi (her.) a vulture with the head and breast of a woman: a South American eagle, larger than the golden eagle, and of great strength and rapacity: a rapacious person.
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Quotations

  • John Arbuthnot
    John Arbuthnot
    “Law is a Bottomless-Pit, it is a Cormorant, a Harpy, that devours every thing.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. harpie, L. harpyia, Gr. "a`rpyia, from the root of "arpa`zein to snatch, to seize. Cf. Rapacious
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. harpyia—Gr., pl. harpyiai, 'snatchers,' symbols of the storm-wind—harpazein, to seize.

Usage

In literature:

I have seen nine of the harpies, myself, and the other seven can't be far off.
"The Two Admirals" by J. Fenimore Cooper
There are harpies, sirens, satyrs, fawns, and all sorts of fantastic creatures.
"A History of Art for Beginners and Students" by Clara Erskine Clement
They could not overtake them, but the harpies were forbidden by Jupiter to molest Phineus any longer.
"Historic Tales, vol 10 (of 15)" by Charles Morris
Not a few girls who go to the cities to seek their fortunes and fail are caught by these harpies.
"Fighting the Traffic in Young Girls" by Various
To her alone of mortals is it given to inspire, like the Harpies, at once contempt and fear.
"Modern Women and What is Said of Them" by Anonymous
Maryanne Brown was a harpy, and is a harpy to this day.
"The Struggles of Brown, Jones, and Robinson" by Anthony Trollope
Some said that the harpies had the faces and forms of women.
"Romulus, Makers of History" by Jacob Abbott
How far our keepers went "snacks" with these harpies, we never could know.
"A Journal of a Young Man of Massachusetts, 2nd ed." by Benjamin Waterhouse
Harpies brooding over the dead!
"The Art of Disappearing" by John Talbot Smith
The sackless Harpies will ye drive from their own land away?
"The Æneids of Virgil" by Virgil
Madame Beattie was a familiar name to them, but they had never heard she was a harpy.
"The Prisoner" by Alice Brown
And do you know that old harpy in London never named money.
"A Singer from the Sea" by Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
Where victors and spoils are, there harpy women await them.
"The Pirate Woman" by Aylward Edward Dingle
He should have his dinner Snatched by harpies fateful.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 98, March 15, 1890" by Various
Harpy, your own self!
"The Cup of Fury" by Rupert Hughes
The men lead a life of excesses with limited means, while the women are harpies, wholly bereft of shame.
"Woman under socialism" by August Bebel
They next visited Phineus, a wise old blind king, who was tormented by horrid birds called Harpies, with women's faces.
"Aunt Charlotte's Stories of Greek History" by Charlotte M. Yonge
What worse, ye harpy fates?
"The Scarlet Stigma" by James Edgar Smith
So, in the brief pause, he gave ready ear to the whispering of the yellow harpy.
"The Plow-Woman" by Eleanor Gates
She's an old harpy going to carry off my dove.
"The Pearl of Orr's Island" by Harriet Beecher Stowe
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In poetry:

Meantime, Duty's leaf and flower
Both must wither;
And, for Peace of Mind, -- each hour
Breeds its harpies to devour,
Flapping hither!
"The Mingled Cup" by Martin Farquhar Tupper
Life without love! -- O poverty, and shame,
O vice, O drink, O selishness and care,
O harpies at each banquet of despair,
Setting how many wretched homes aflame!
"Griefs Unspoken" by Martin Farquhar Tupper
Long, long with blistered feet we wandered in
That land of ruins, through whose sky of brass
Hate's Harpy shrieked; and in whose iron grass
The Hydra hissed of undestroyable Sin.
"The Land Of Illusion" by Madison Julius Cawein
Her words benumbed my fond frail ghost;
The nightmares neighed from their stalls,
The vampires screeched, the harpies flew,
And under the dim dawn I withdrew
To Death's inviolate halls.
"I Rose Up As My Custom Is" by Thomas Hardy
The steeples are white in the wild moonlight,
And the trees have a silver glare;
Past the chimneys high see the vampires fly,
And the harpies of upper air,
That flutter and laugh and stare.
"Hallowe'en In A Suburb" by Howard Phillips Lovecraft
No Woman--Tisiphone! Daughter
Of Tartarus--love-grinning Woman above,
Dragon-tailed under--honey-tongued, Harpy-clawed,
Into the glittering meshes of slaughter
She wheedles, entices him into the poisonous
Fold of the serpent--
"The Vision Of Cassandra" by Aeschylus

In news:

IPhone Fallout, Hellfire Harpies and Gummy Worm Feedlots.
High in a jungle tree, a three-twoed sloth is safe from most attacks — except for the harpy eagle.
He performed in several operas, performing the following roles: Quince in "Midsummer Night's Dream" by B. Calais in "The Harpies" by M.
Corbin Maxey took us to the World Center for Birds of Prey to meet Luigi, a Harpy eagle.
Nature A Hungry Harpy PBS.
Corbin Maxey took us to the World Center for Birds of Prey to meet Luigi, a Harpy eagle .
A verse epic in twenty-four books complete with a council in heaven and a catalogue of heroes, the cast featuring a blind seer, Harpies and Sirens, an enchanted ship, and fire-breathing bulls.
The harpy eagle comes equipped with an arsenal of physical features that make it a skilled and accomplished predator.
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