Amazon late 14c., from Gk. Amazon (mostly in plural Amazones) "one of a race of female warriors in Scythia," probably from an unknown non-I.E. word, possibly from an Iranian compound *ha-maz-an- " (one) fighting together" [Watkins], but in folk etymology long derived from a- "without" + mazos "breasts," hence the story that the Amazons cut or burned off one breast so they could draw bowstrings more efficiently. The river in South America (originally called by the Sp. Rio Santa Maria de la Mar Dulce) rechristened by Francisco de Orellana, 1541, after an encounter with female warriors of the Tapuyas (or, as some say, beardless, long-haired male tribesmen; still others hold that the name is a corruption of a native word in Tupi or Guarani meaning "wave").

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Amazon — or Amazons may refer to: * Amazons, members of a legendary nation of female warriors in Greek mythology * more generally, any woman warrior ** History of women in the military ** Dahomey Amazons, an all female regiment of the African kingdom of… …   Wikipedia

  • Amazon — kann sich auf folgende Stichworte beziehen: das Internet Versandhaus den Personenkraftwagen Volvo Amazon englische Übersetzung für Amazone oder Amazonas …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Amazon —    , Amazon River    According to the Greek historian Herodotus, the Amazons were a fierce nation of Scythian women who lived by themselves. They dealt with men only in battle or for procreation, and either killed their sons or sent them to their …   Dictionary of eponyms

  • Amazon — Amazon1 [am′ə zän΄, am′əzən] n. [L < Gr Amazōn, of unknown orig., but deriv. by folk etym. < a , without + mazos, breast, hence the story that the Amazons cut off one breast to facilitate archery] 1. Gr. Myth. any of a race of female… …   English World dictionary

  • Amazon — Am a*zon, n. [L., fr. Gr. ?.] 1. One of a fabulous race of female warriors in Scythia; hence, a female warrior. [1913 Webster] 2. A tall, strong, masculine woman; a virago. [1913 Webster] 3. (Zo[ o]l.) A name numerous species of South American… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Amazon — 1.) the Amazon a river in South America, which goes through Peru and Brazil and is the second longest river in the world 2.) literary a strong, tall woman >amazonian adj …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • amazon — *virago, termagant …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Amazon — ► NOUN 1) a member of a legendary race of female warriors. 2) a very tall, strong woman. ORIGIN Greek Amaz n, explained by the Greeks as meaning breastless (as if from a without + mazos breast ), with reference to the fable that the Amazons cut… …   English terms dictionary

  • Amazon — /am euh zon , zeuhn/, n. 1. a river in N South America, flowing E from the Peruvian Andes through N Brazil to the Atlantic Ocean: the largest river in the world in volume of water carried. 3900 mi. (6280 km) long. 2. Class. Myth. one of a race of …   Universalium

  • Amazon — Am·a·zon (ăm’ə zŏn′, zən) ► n. 1) A member of a legendary nation of women warriors reputed to have lived in ancient Scythia. 2) often amazon A tall, aggressive, strong willed woman. 3) often amazon Any of various predominantly green parrots of… …   Word Histories

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