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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Lamia \La"mi*a\, n. [L., fr. Gr. ?.] (Class. Myth.) A monster capable of assuming a woman's form, who was said to devour human beings or suck their blood; a vampire; a sorceress; a witch.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 14c., from Latin lamia, from Greek lamia "female vampire," literally "swallower, lecher," from laimos "throat, gullet." Probably cognate with Latin lemures "spirits of the dead" (see lemur). Used in early translations of the Bible for screech owls and sea monsters. Sometimes also, apparently, mermaids.\n\nAlso kynde erreþ in som beestes wondirliche j-schape, as it fareþ in a beest þat hatte lamia, þat haþ an heed as a mayde & body as a grym fissche[;] whan þat best lamya may fynde ony man, first a flatereþ wiþ hym with a wommannes face and makeþ hym ligge by here while he may dure, & whanne he may noferþere suffice to here lecherye þanne he rendeþ hym and sleþ and eteþ hym.

[John of Trevisa, translation of Bartholomew de Glanville's "De proprietatibus rerum," 1398]


n. A monster preying upon human beings and who sucked the blood of children, often described as having the head and breasts of a woman and the lower half of a serpent.

  1. n. (folklore) a corpse that rises at night to drink the blood of the living [syn: vampire]

  2. [also: lamiae (pl)]

Lamia (disambiguation)

Lamia is a daemon in Greek mythology.

Lamia may also refer to:

Lamia (animal)

The lamia (Chiruromys lamia), also known as the broad-headed tree mouse, is found chiefly in southeastern New Guinea. It is arboreal, living in hollow tree nests, and is found at elevations of .

Lamia (city)

Lamia (, Lamía, ) is a city in central Greece. The city dates back to antiquity, and is today the capital of the regional unit of Phthiotis and of the Central Greece region (comprising five regional units).


In ancient Greek mythology, Lamia (; Greek: Λάμια) was a beautiful queen of Libya who became a child-eating daemon.

Aristophanes claimed her name derived from the Greek word for gullet (λαιμός; laimos), referring to her habit of devouring children. Modern scholarship reconstructs a Proto-Indo European stem *, "nocturnal spirit", whence also lemures.

Lamia (poem)

"Lamia" is a narrative poem written by English poet John Keats which was published in 1820.

The poem was written in 1819, soon after " La belle dame sans merci" and his odes on Melancholy, on Indolence, to a Grecian Urn and to a Nightingale and just before " Ode to Autumn". The poem tells how the god Hermes hears of a nymph who is more beautiful than all. Hermes, searching for the nymph, instead comes across a Lamia, trapped in the form of a serpent. She reveals the previously invisible nymph to him and in return he restores her human form. She goes to seek a youth of Corinth, Lycius, while Hermes and his nymph depart together into the woods. The relationship between Lycius and Lamia, however, is destroyed when the sage Apollonius reveals Lamia's true identity at their wedding feast, whereupon she seemingly disappears and Lycius dies of grief.

Lamia (Dungeons & Dragons)

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the lamia is a type of fictional monster. The lamia was formerly portrayed in the game as a creature with the lower body of a lion, and the upper torso, arms, and head of a human female. A less common type of lamia, the lamia noble, was depicted as having the lower body of a serpent. The lamia was introduced in the first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game's original Monster Manual sourcebook, written by Gary Gygax and published in 1977. The lamia also appeared in second edition and third editionDungeons & Dragons. In the fourth edition, it was reenvisaged as a swarm of insects.

Lamia (Basque mythology)

The lamia (plural: lamiak) is a siren- or nereid-like creature in Basque mythology. Lamiak, laminak or amilamiak live in the river. They are very beautiful, and stay at the shore combing their long hair with a golden comb; they easily charm men. They have duck feet.

In coastal areas, some believed that there were itsaslamiak in the sea, who had fish tails—a kind of mermaid.

Lamia (given name)

Lamia is a feminine given name of Arabic origin meaning "shining" or "radiant." The Bosnian form of name is Lamija. Lamija was the most popular name for newborn girls in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2012.

Lamia (daughter of Poseidon)

In Greek mythology, Lamia was a daughter of Poseidon, and mother, by Zeus, of the Libyan Sibyl. It was perhaps this Lamia who, according to Stesichorus, was the mother of Scylla.

Usage examples of "lamia".

But in Mundania creatures like the lamia, manticora, and dragon never evolved.

He thought of Lamia, and Hunter, and Anaesthesia, and even Door, but none of them were someones in the way that she meant.

Inoltre provava una strana agitazione fisica e mentale: den­tro di lui si rincorrevano sensazioni di sconfitta e tradimento che, associate al rischio di perdere la vita a causa di Lamia, al danno inflittogli da mister Vandemar e all'esperienza sulla passerella là in alto, lo facevano sentire un vero rottame.

Lamia rose above the curve of Hyperion's planetary limb, seeing the rudimentary channels of microwaved dataflow and tightbeamed commlink that passed for an embryonic datasphere there.

His priority was to get Lamia to sickbay and get her treated for alcohol poisoning, You'rejust as badfor her as she isforyou.

Lamia, the old Greek word for vampire, was the name of this establishment in which the electric guitars played the primitive Greek music, and the young mortal men danced with one another, hips churning with all the seductiveness of women, as the retsina flowed.

This creature before us is the effigy of the Lamiae, the female serpent which lives in the sea at the edge of Sha'angh'sei.

The coils writhed beneath him and he rode the Lamiae from out of the shallows of the Sha'angh'sei sea, past the creaming reefs, teeming with life, and out, away, away, on the great westerly currents, into the deep.

Succubi, fair but baneful, lamiae with the round soft bodies of women, came to tempt me in the drear vigils of the night.

First, a large pride of lamias had tried to overwhelm the party with their beguiling powers, but drow on guard for such magical tricks were no easy prey.

Tawny blurs crouched atop a high wall perhaps forty or fifty yards distant, a handful of lamias who carried heavy crossbows and watched carefully for opportunities to shoot into the fray, their beautiful faces twisted into evil grins.

Long, silent hours passed in the darkness, with no sign that the lamias had dis­covered their hiding place.

The lamias were careless of the lives of their slaves, and perhaps do not have enough left to do a proper job of searching the city for us.

These statues of mine -- these devils, vampires, lamias, satyrs -- were all done from life, or, at least from recent memory.

Then, behind her, where stood an array of carven Satans and lamias, the room seemed to recede, the walls and floors dissolved in a seething, unfathomable gulf, amid whose pestilential vapors the statues were mingled in momentary and loathsome ambiguity with the ravening faces, the hunger-contorted forms that swirled toward us from their ultra-dimensional limbo like a devilladen hurricane from Malebolge.