harpy

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Related to Harpies: furies

Har·py

 (här′pē)
n. pl. Har·pies
1. Greek Mythology One of several loathsome, voracious monsters with the head and trunk of a woman and the tail, wings, and talons of a bird.
2. harpy A predatory person.
3. harpy A shrewish woman.

[Latin harpȳia, singular of Latin harpȳiae, the Harpies, from Greek harpūiai.]

harpy

(ˈhɑːpɪ)
n, pl -pies
a cruel grasping woman
[C16: from Latin Harpyia, from Greek Harpuiai the Harpies, literally: snatchers, from harpazein to seize]

Harpy

(ˈhɑːpɪ)
n, pl -pies
(Classical Myth & Legend) Greek myth a ravenous creature with a woman's head and trunk and a bird's wings and claws

Har•py

(ˈhɑr pi)

n., pl. -pies.
1. any of a group of winged supernatural beings of classical myth, two or three in number, portrayed by later authors as rapacious female monsters.
2. (l.c.) a scolding, bad-tempered woman; shrew.
3. (l.c.) a greedy, predatory person.
[1540–50; < Latin Harpȳia, singular of Harpȳiae < Greek Hárpȳiai (pl.), literally, snatchers, akin to harpázein to snatch away]
harp′y•like`, adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.harpy - a malicious woman with a fierce temperharpy - a malicious woman with a fierce temper
disagreeable woman, unpleasant woman - a woman who is an unpleasant person
2.Harpy - (Greek mythology) vicious winged monster; often depicted as a bird with the head of a woman
Greek mythology - the mythology of the ancient Greeks
mythical creature, mythical monster - a monster renowned in folklore and myth
3.harpy - any of various fruit bats of the genus Nyctimene distinguished by nostrils drawn out into diverging tubesharpy - any of various fruit bats of the genus Nyctimene distinguished by nostrils drawn out into diverging tubes
fruit bat, megabat - large Old World bat of warm and tropical regions that feeds on fruit
genus Nyctimene, Nyctimene - East Indian fruit bats
4.harpy - large black-and-white crested eagle of tropical Americaharpy - large black-and-white crested eagle of tropical America
bird of Jove, eagle - any of various large keen-sighted diurnal birds of prey noted for their broad wings and strong soaring flight
genus Harpia, Harpia - a genus of Accipitridae

harpy

noun
A person, traditionally a woman, who persistently nags or criticizes:
Informal: battle-ax.
Translations

harpy

[ˈhɑːpɪ] Narpía f

harpy

[ˈhɑːrpi] n
(in mythology)harpie f
(pejorative) (= woman) → mégère f, harpie f

harpy

nHarpyie f; (= shrewish woman)Hexe f; (= grasping person)Hyäne f

Harpy

[ˈhɑːpɪ] n (Myth) (fig) → arpia
References in classic literature ?
He had his choice, based on bitter experience, between three days' debauch among the sharks and harpies of the Barbary Coast and a whole winter of wholesome enjoyment and sociability, and there wasn't any doubt of the way he was going to choose.
Of these things others quickly will dispose, Whose pains have earned the far-fet spoil." With that Both table and provision vanished quite, With sound of harpies' wings and talons heard; Only the importune Tempter still remained, And with these words his temptation pursued:-- "By hunger, that each other creature tames, Thou art not to be harmed, therefore not moved; Thy temperance, invincible besides, For no allurement yields to appetite; And all thy heart is set on high designs, High actions.
And all the time, as we were pitching it in red hot, we were keeping the women off him as best we could for they were as wild as harpies. I never saw a circle of such hateful faces; and there was the man in the middle, with a kind of black sneering coolness--frightened to, I could see that--but carrying it off, sir, really like Satan.
In this room, when I had died of grief, and long-deferred hope, two wily harpies divided the wealth for which I had contested during a wretched existence, and of which, at last, not one farthing was left for my unhappy descendants.
And well may we repeat after a stricken brother over-seas: "Our pride it is to know no spur of pride." Man has forgotten us; God has forgotten us; only are we remembered by the harpies of justice, who prey upon our distress and coin our sighs and tears into bright shining dollars.'
I now turned my attention to Dejah Thoris, and assisting her to her feet I turned with her toward the exit, ignoring her hovering guardian harpies as well as the inquiring glances of the chieftains.
Just so, too, Jacobus Hugo has satisfied himself that, by Euenis, Homer meant to insinuate John Calvin; by Antinous, Martin Luther; by the Lotophagi, Protestants in general; and, by the Harpies, the Dutch.
Several poems are ascribed to Hesiod, such as the "Epithalamium of Peleus and Thetis", the "Descent of Theseus into Hades", or the "Circuit of the Earth" (which must have been connected with the story of Phineus and the Harpies, and so with the Argonaut-legend), which yet seem to have belonged to the "Catalogues".
Another strange adventure happened when the voyagers came to Thrace, where they found a poor blind king, named Phineus, deserted by his subjects, and living in a very sorrowful way, all by himself: On Jason's inquiring whether they could do him any service, the king answered that he was terribly tormented by three great winged creatures, called Harpies, which had the faces of women, and the wings, bodies, and claws of vultures.
Charles in the afternoon, but the harpies of the law looked in vain for their expected prey.
We staggered through the brushwood, and even as we reached the trees the harpies were on us again.
All these were blotted out by a grotesque and terrible nightmare brood - frowsy, shuffling creatures from the pavements of Whitechapel, gin-bloated hags of the stews, and all the vast hell's following of harpies, vile-mouthed and filthy, that under the guise of monstrous female form prey upon sailors, the scrapings of the ports, the scum and slime of the human pit.