Greek Mythology Vocabulary Derived from Earth and Lesser Gods


at·ro·phy from ATROPOS, the Fate who cut man’s thread of life.

Pathology . a wasting away of the body or of an organ or part, as from defective nutrition or nerve damage.

2. degeneration, decline, or decrease, as from disuse: He argued that there was a progressive atrophy of freedom and independence of thought.


bac·cha·nal (from Bacchus, god of wine)

–noun 1.

a follower of Bacchus. 2. a drunken reveler. 3. an occasion of drunken revelry; orgy; bacchanalia.


ce·re·al (Frome Ceres AKA Demeter, goddess of the grain)

–noun 1. any plant of the grass family yielding an edible grain, as wheat, rye, oats, rice, or corn. 2. the grain itself. 3. some edible preparation of it, especially a breakfast food.

rot·ic (from Eros, Aphrodite’s handsome son, god of love)

1. arousing or satisfying sexual desire: an erotic dance.

2. of, pertaining to, or treating of sexual love; amatory: an erotic novel.

3. subject to or marked by strong sexual desire.


hy·men (from Hymen, god of the Wedding Feast)

–noun Anatomy . a fold of mucous membrane partly closing the external orifice of the vagina in a virgin.


ris (from Iris, goddess of the rainbow)

–noun 1. Anatomy . the contractile, circular diaphragm forming the colored portion of the eye and containing a circular opening, the pupil, in its center.

2. Botany . any plant of the genus Iris,  having showy flowers and sword-shaped leaves. Compare iris family. 3. a flower of this plant. 4. ( initial capital letter ) Classical Mythology . a messenger of the gods, regarded as the goddess of the rainbow. 5. a rainbow. 6. any appearance resembling a rainbow. 7. Movies, Television . an iris-in or iris-out. 8. Optics, Photography . iris diaphragm.


ir·i·des·cent (from Iris, goddess of the rainbow)

–adjective 1. displaying a play of lustrous colors like those of the rainbow.

–noun 2. an iridescent cloth, material, or other substance: new fall dresses of imported iridescents.


mu·se·um (from the Nine Muses, inspiration)

–noun a building or place where works of art, scientific specimens, or other objects of permanent value are kept and displayed.


nym·pho·ma·ni·a (from nymphs, beautiful maidens in nature)

–noun Pathology . abnormally excessive and uncontrollable sexual desire in women.

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sat·ire (from satyrs, merrymaking half man half goat creatures)

1. the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc. 2. a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule. 3. a literary genre comprising such compositions.