Banshee meaning

bănshē
Frequency:
The definition of banshee means a mythological female spirit who cries to warn of an upcoming death.

An example of a banshee is a ghost who enters a house wailing as a warning.

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In Irish folklore, a female spirit, usually taking the form of a woman whose mournful wailing warns of an impending death.
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A female spirit in Gaelic folklore believed to presage, by wailing, a death in a family.
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A female spirit believed to wail outside a house as a warning that a death will occur soon in the family.
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Origin of banshee

  • Irish Gaelic bean sídhe woman of the fairies, banshee bean woman (from Old Irish ben gwen- in Indo-European roots) sídhe fairy (from Old Irish síde) (genitive of síd fairy mound sed- in Indo-European roots)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Irish bean sí, from Old Irish ben síde (“woman of the fairy mound”). The term banshee entered English in 1771.

    From Wiktionary