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Mermaid

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mermaid

A fabled marine creature, typically represented as having the upper part like that of a woman, and the lower like a fish; a sea nymph, sea woman, or woman fish.

Chaucer uses this word as equivalent to the siren of the ancients. Mermaid fish, a European spatangoid sea urchin (Echinocardium cordatum) having some resemblance to a skull.

(Science: botany) Mermaid weed, an aquatic herb with dentate or pectinate leaves (Proserpinaca palustris and P. Pectinacea).

Origin: AS. Mere lake, sea. See Mere lake, and maid.