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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Harpy


H'ARPY, noun [Latin harpyia; Gr. to seize or claw.]

1. In antiquity, the harpies were fabulous winged monsters, having the face of a woman and the body of a vulture, with their feet and fingers armed with sharp claws. They were three in number, Aello, Ocypete, and Celeno. They were sent by Juno to plunder the table of Phineus. They are represented as rapacious and filthy animals.

2. Any rapacious or ravenous animal; an extortioner; a plunderer.