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 (pī′thə-nĭs, pĭth′ə-)
1. Greek Mythology A priestess of Apollo at Delphi.
2. A prophetess.

[Middle English phitonesse, from Old French phitonise, from Late Latin pȳthonissa, from Greek Pūthōn, Python; see Python1.]


1. (Classical Myth & Legend) a woman, such as Apollo's priestess at Delphi, believed to be possessed by an oracular spirit
2. (Classical Myth & Legend) a female soothsayer
[C14 phitonesse, ultimately from Greek Puthōn Python]


(ˈpaɪ θə nɪs, ˈpɪθ ə-)

a woman believed to be possessed by a soothsaying spirit.
[1350–1400; Middle English phytonesse (< Middle French phitonise) < Medieval Latin phitōnissa, Late Latin (Vulgate) pȳthōnissa, feminine derivative of pȳthōn < Greek pneûma pýthōna spirit of divination (NT), Pýthōnes ventriloquists (Plutarch), obscurely akin to Pȳthṓ(n) Delphi (compare Pythian)]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.pythoness - a witch with powers of divination
witch - a being (usually female) imagined to have special powers derived from the devil
2.pythoness - (Greek mythology) the priestess of Apollo at Delphi who transmitted the oraclesPythoness - (Greek mythology) the priestess of Apollo at Delphi who transmitted the oracles
Greek mythology - the mythology of the ancient Greeks
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References in periodicals archive ?
The appearance of two powerful serpents brings to mind the similar pairing of dragons in Greek mythology, with one dragon leading the trainee diviner into the presence of another.