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A mythological spirit of nature imagined as a beautiful maiden inhabiting rivers, woods, or other locations. Recorded from late Middle English, the word comes via Old French and Latin from Greek numphē ‘nymph, bride’, and is related to Latin nubere ‘be the wife of’.

In literary use from the early 17th century, nymph may be used for a river or stream.

nymphaeum a grotto or shrine dedicated to a nymph or nymphs; a building or part of a building built to represent such a shrine.

Subjects: Classical studies

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