nympholepsy[nim′fō lep′sē, -fə-]
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
- in ancient times, a state of frenzy that was believed to seize any man who looked at a nymph
- a violent emotional state arising as from frustrated idealism
Origin: < Gr nympholēptos, seized by nymphs (< nymphē + -lēptos, seized < lambanein, to seize, assume: see lemma), infl. by epilepsy
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
noun pl. nym·pho·lep·sies
- A frenzy supposed by ancient peoples to have been induced by nymphs.
- An emotional frenzy.
Origin: From nympholept.
- nymˌpho·lepˈtic adjective