Tantalus

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Tan·ta·lus

 (tăn′tə-ləs)
n. Greek Mythology
A king who for his crimes was condemned in Hades to stand in water that receded when he tried to drink, and with fruit hanging above him that receded when he reached for it.

[Latin, from Greek Tantalos; see telə- in Indo-European roots.]

Tantalus

(ˈtæntələs)
n
(Classical Myth & Legend) Greek myth a king, the father of Pelops, punished in Hades for his misdeeds by having to stand in water that recedes when he tries to drink it and under fruit that moves away as he reaches for it

tantalus

(ˈtæntələs)
n
Brit a case in which bottles may be locked with their contents tantalizingly visible

Tan•ta•lus

(ˈtæn tl əs)

n., pl. -lus•es.
1. a legendary king of Phrygia who was condemned to remain in Tartarus, chin deep in water, with fruit-laden branches above his head: whenever he tried to drink or eat, the water and fruit receded out of reach.
2. (l.c.) a rack containing visible decanters secured by a lock.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Tantalus - (Greek mythology) a wicked king and son of ZeusTantalus - (Greek mythology) a wicked king and son of Zeus; condemned in Hades to stand in water that receded when he tried to drink and beneath fruit that receded when he reached for it
Greek mythology - the mythology of the ancient Greeks
References in periodicals archive ?
The parallels that Tromly discovers between Edward's punishment and the torment of Tantalus are compelling, as are his arguments -- based on the connection between Tantalus and the damnation of Faustus -- for Marlowe's authorship of the ending of the 1616 text of Doctor Faustus.