• (RP) IPA: /kʌɪˈmɪəɹə/, /kɪ-/
  • (GA) IPA: /kaɪˈmɪəɹə/

chimera (plural chimeras)

  1. (Greek mythology) Alternative letter-case form of Chimera#English|Chimera (a flame-spewing monster often represented as having two heads, one of a goat and the other of a lion; the body of a goat; and a serpent as a tail).
  2. (mythology) Any fantastic creature with parts from different animals.
  3. Anything composed of very disparate parts.
    The car which he built himself was a real chimera: half Volkswagen and half Porsche.
  4. A foolish, incongruous, or vain thought#Noun|thought or product of the imagination.
    • 1719 April 24, [Daniel Defoe], The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, […], London: Printed by W[illiam] Taylor […], OCLC 15864594 ↗; 3rd edition, London: Printed by W[illiam] Taylor […], 1719, OCLC 838630407 ↗, page 86 ↗:
      In the middle of theſe Cogitations, Apprehenſions, and Reflections, it came into my Thought one day, that all this might be a mere Chimera of my own; and that this Foot might be the Print of my own Foot, when I came on Shore from my Boat: This chear'd me up a little too, and I began to perſuade myſelf it was all a Deluſion; that it was nothing elſe but my own Foot; and why might I not come that way from the Boat, as well as I was going that way to the Boat: {{...}
    • 1818, anonymous [Mary Shelley], chapter II, in Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, London: Printed for Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, OCLC 830979744; republished as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein: Or, The Modern Prometheus […] In Two Volumes, volume I, new (2nd) edition, London: Printed for G. and W. B. Whittaker, Ave-Maria-Lane, 1823, OCLC 270812039, page 71 ↗:
      It was very different, when the masters of the science sought immortality and power; such views, although futile, were grand: but now the scene was changed. The ambition of the inquirer seemed to limit itself to the annihilation of those visions on which my interest in science was chiefly founded. I was required to exchange chimeras of boundless grandeur for realities of little worth.
  5. (architecture) A grotesque#Noun|grotesque like a gargoyle, but without a spout for rainwater.
  6. (genetics) An organism with genetically distinct cells originating from two or more zygotes.
  7. Usually chimaera: a cartilaginous marine fish#Noun|fish in the subclass Holocephali and especially the order#Noun|order Chimaeriformes, with a blunt snout, long tail, and a spine before the first dorsal fin.
Synonyms Antonyms
  • (anything composed of very disparate parts) monolith
Related terms Translations Translations Translations
  • Portuguese: gárgula
  • Russian: химе́ра
Translations Translations
Proper noun
  1. (Greek mythology) One of the many fantastical offspring of Typhon and Echidna, a multi-headed monster represented as vomiting flames. It had the head of a lion, the body of a goat, and a dragon for a tail. Killed by the hero Bellerophon in Lycea.

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