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A.Word.A.Day--harpy

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

This week's theme: words derived from the names of mythical creatures.

harpy (HAR-pee) noun

1. A predatory person.

2. A bad-tempered woman.

[After the Harpies, monsters in Greek mythology, who had a woman's head and a bird's body. The gods ordered them to snatch food from Phineus, a king who was punished for revealing secrets. From Greek harpazein (to snatch).]

See more usage examples of harpy in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)

"Longoria Parker comes across as a shrill harpy in her pivotal role, hounding Ashley into ending the affair." Sam Cannon; She's No Angel; Bristol Evening Post (UK); Jan 31, 2008.

X-Bonus

This above all: to thine own self be true, \ And it must follow, as the night the day, \ Thou canst not then be false to any man. -William Shakespeare, poet and dramatist (1564-1616)

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