Adonis, an

Meaning of Idiom ‘An Adonis’

An Adonis is a young man of unusual physical beauty; an extremely sexually attractive young man, one who is well built and handsome. 1Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. [http://amzn.to/2ve0F4R The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms]. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995. , 2Webber, Elizabeth, and Mike Feinsilber. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Allusions. Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Examples Of Use

“Wow, that guy is really good looking,” said Mary. “Yeah, he’s a real Adonis,” said Mike, rolling his eyes.

“Don may look like your typical sun-tanned beach Adonis, but he’s actually a PhD candidate.”

“Beth married some high-school Adonis who turned out to be only interested in himself. Now, she’s happily married to a pediatrician.”

Origin

The idiom Adonis is an allusion to a character in Greek mythology. A young man who was so beautiful that his very name became a metaphor for male physical beauty, at least in reference to young men. Adonis was born out of the incestuous relationship of Cinyras, king of Cyprus, and his daughter. He grew up to be so attractive that Aphrodite, the goddess of love herself, fell in love with him.

Aphrodite’s love drew the jelousy of the war god Ares, who disguised himself as a boar and killed Adonis while he was boar hunting. It is also said that Perephone, the queen of the underworld, was attracted to him as well. Another story has it that Zeus gave joint custody of Adonis to Aphrodite and Persephone. He would spend part of the year with each. This, it was said, caused the cycle of the seasons. 3Webber, Elizabeth, and Mike Feinsilber. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Allusions. Merriam-Webster, 2000.

 

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Sources   [ + ]

1. Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. [http://amzn.to/2ve0F4R The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms]. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995. 
2, 3. Webber, Elizabeth, and Mike Feinsilber. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Allusions. Merriam-Webster, 2000.