Definition of chimera in English:


(also chimaera)

Pronunciation /kīˈmirə/ /kaɪˈmɪrə/ /kəˈmirə/ /kəˈmɪrə/


  • 1Chimera(in Greek mythology) a fire-breathing female monster with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail.

    • ‘In Greek mythology, the chimera was a fire-breathing monster that combined the parts of a goat, a lion and a serpent.’
    • ‘If we were to engineer a genuine goat/snake/lion chimera (complete with firebreathing ability) would it be in pain, or unhappy?’
    • ‘In the myth, it was Bellerophon, straddling the winged horse Pegasus, who finally slew the fire-breathing chimera.’
    • ‘Green ones with crosses, orange ones with lions and chimeras, all seemed to glow with pride in the high sun.’
    • ‘She notes that in Greek mythology, that third was known as a chimera.’
    1. 1.1Any mythical animal with parts taken from various animals.
      • ‘She knew that a chimera was a person or animal fused with other creatures.’
      • ‘As far as I know, a chimera is a mythological monster comprising the parts of various different animals.’
      • ‘‘The way was guarded by lions and chimeras and manticores and logicians and other ferocious beasts,’ says Giblets.’
      • ‘And every cell in the chimera's body could be from either one species or the other.’
      • ‘They typically demand some bizarre chimera: a part goat, part rooster sort of monster appropriate to a medieval bestiary or science fiction.’
  • 2A thing that is hoped or wished for but in fact is illusory or impossible to achieve.

    ‘the economic sovereignty you claim to defend is a chimera’
    • ‘Perhaps, to paraphrase Iver Neumann, it is neither digitality nor diaspora but our uses of them - much like our uses of the other - that offer a chimera of hope.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, many critics of the Times are conflating this notion of journalistic execution with the chimera of total journalistic objectivity.’
    • ‘Achieving a bipartisan consensus on pensions is not an unachievable chimera.’
    • ‘He's now got a month and a half to create some convincing chimera that the American people can invest with their hopes and dreams.’
    • ‘As all three books make abundantly clear, nobody nowadays believes in that old chimera, ‘objective’ or ‘scientific’ history.’
    • ‘Professionals invariably dominate such bodies, making consensus a chimera.’
    • ‘The key problem for both scholars is the illusion, a chimera, that the Bible has what could be realistically described as a middle, or even a central theme.’
    • ‘Likewise one may call the price index a ‘statistical illusion’ based on the chimera of a fixed basket of products as the unit of measurement.’
    • ‘Rationality in science is sometimes a chimera, and the border between magic and science is easily crossed; it depends on attitude, information available, and context.’
    • ‘As Colin Gunton observes, ‘The biblical message, in the sense of a finally adequate or even provisionally complete account of biblical teaching, is a chimera.’’
    • ‘What kind of subjectivity can we assign to these chimeras, these fictions of a hopeful science?’
    • ‘Moreover, academic freedom is an Enlightenment chimera and autonomy is a secular principle, not a Christian virtue.’
    • ‘Definitive truth is a chimera that does not belong to science after all.’
    • ‘Do you not know how idiotic the chimeras are, Kirei?’
    illusion, fantasy, delusion, dream, fancy, figment of the imagination, will-o'-the-wisp, phantom, mirage
    View synonyms
  • 3Biology
    An organism containing a mixture of genetically different tissues, formed by processes such as fusion of early embryos, grafting, or mutation.

    ‘the sheeplike goat chimera’
    • ‘Perhaps his most elegant experiment was to make aggregation chimeras of embryos from high, control, and low lines.’
    • ‘But calling this mouse a ‘chimera’ is misleading - the term should be reserved for true genetically engineered chimeras.’
    • ‘You see stem cells facilitate the production of organisms called interspecies chimeras, that is living quilts of human and animal tissues.’
    • ‘Scientists can create animals with the cells of other species, but are these chimeras medical marvels or high-tech monsters?’
    • ‘Biologists call these hybrid animals chimeras, after the mythical Greek creature with a lion's head, a goat's body and a serpent's tail.’
    1. 3.1A DNA molecule with sequences derived from two or more different organisms, formed by laboratory manipulation.
      • ‘In all, the germline chimeras derived from these five cell lines sired 326 progeny in matings to B6 females, but no deletion-bearing offspring were observed.’
      • ‘Spontaneous SOS gene expression was measured in strain GY7109 recA carrying plasmids with different recAX chimeras.’
      • ‘Therefore, this gene is a chimera consisting of the first exon of CG11779 and the second and third exons of Adh.’
      • ‘Banning gene patents and chimeras won't save a single human life.’
      • ‘After construction of the chimeras by overlapping PCR, all of the chimeric genes were cloned into integrating vectors under control of the SEC9 or the SPO20 promoter.’
  • 4

    (also chimaera)
    A cartilaginous marine fish with a long tail, an erect spine before the first dorsal fin, and typically a forward projection from the snout.

    Subclass Hoplocephali: three families, in particular Chimaeridae. See also and rabbitfish and , and ratfish

    • ‘The group is divided into two very different subclasses, which separated very early on: the Elasmobranchii (sharks, skates and rays) and the Holocephali (the chimaeras, such as the ratfish and elephant fish).’
    • ‘In the living chimaeras, Callorhinchus and Chimaera, the authors were able to show the persisting boundaries between the individual teeth.’
    • ‘The feature was previously unknown in sharks and other chondrichthyans, an order of fish whose modern descendants include sharks, skates, rays, and chimaeras.’
    • ‘Like those distant relatives, chimaeras have skeletons of cartilage, not bone.’


Late Middle English via Latin from Greek khimaira ‘she-goat or chimera’.



/kīˈmirə/ /kaɪˈmɪrə/ /kəˈmirə/ /kəˈmɪrə/