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When Adonis died Zeus decreed that he should spend winters in the underworld with Persephone and spend summers with Aphrodite.
  Greek mythology:  a handsome youth loved by both Aphrodite and Persephone

or as a common noun:  any handsome young man
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  • When Adonis died Zeus decreed that he should spend winters in the underworld with Persephone and spend summers with Aphrodite.
  • By the way, December 25 is also the birthday of Osiris, Adonis, and Dionysus.
    Dan Brown  --  The Da Vinci Code
  • It didn’t matter if he was a buffed-up Adonis, or if he was some nerd who couldn’t get his arms around it.
    Randy Pausch  --  The Last Lecture
  • That memory, Venus and Adonis, lay in the bedchamber of every light-of-love in London.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses

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  • We will fetch thee straight Adonis painted by a running brook, And Cytherea all in sedges hid, Which seem to move and wanton with her breath Even as the waving sedges play with wind.
    William Shakespeare  --  The Taming of the Shrew
  • "There’s not a finer fellow in the service," Osborne said, "nor a better officer, though he is not an Adonis, certainly."
    William Makepeace Thackeray  --  Vanity Fair
  • Delicate Adonis is dying, Cytherea, what shall we do?
    J.D. Salinger  --  Franny and Zooey
  • Tristan and Isolde, the Duke Orsino and Olivia (and Malvolio too), Troilus and Criseyde, Mr. Knightley and Emma, Venus and Adonis.
    Ian McEwan  --  Atonement
  • Edward hadn’t moved a fraction of an inch, a carving of Adonis perched on my faded quilt.
    Stephenie Meyer  --  Twilight
  • Upon my word, Basil, I didn’t know you were so vain; and I really can’t see any resemblance between you, with your rugged strong face and your coal-black hair, and this young Adonis, who looks as if he was made out of ivory and rose-leaves.
    Oscar Wilde  --  The Picture of Dorian Gray

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  • There and thus they would muse; if their grief were the grief of oppression they would wish themselves kings; if their grief were poverty, wish themselves millionaires; if sin, they would wish they were saints or angels; if despised love, that they were some much-courted Adonis of county fame.
    Thomas Hardy  --  The Mayor of Casterbridge
  • The contrast was as striking as it could have been eighteen years before, when Rigg was a most unengaging kickable boy, and Raffles was the rather thick-set Adonis of bar-rooms and back-parlors.
    George Eliot  --  Middlemarch
  • Thammuz came next behind, Whose annual wound in Lebanon allured The Syrian damsels to lament his fate In amorous ditties all a summer’s day, While smooth Adonis from his native rock Ran purple to the sea, supposed with blood Of Thammuz yearly wounded: the love-tale Infected Sion’s daughters with like heat, Whose wanton passions in the sacred porch Ezekiel saw, when, by the vision led, His eye surveyed the dark idolatries Of alienated Judah.
    John Milton  --  Paradise Lost
  • Jones now walked downstairs neatly drest, and perhaps the fair Adonis was not a lovelier figure; and yet he had no charms for my landlady; for as that good woman did not resemble Venus at all in her person, so neither did she in her taste.
    Henry Fielding  --  Tom Jones
  • Throughout the ancient world such myths and rites abounded: the deaths and resurrections of Tammuz, Adonis, Mithra, Virbius, Attis, and Osiris, and of their various animal representatives (goats and sheep, bulls, pigs, horses, fish, and birds) are known to every student of comparative religion; the popular carnival games of the Whitsuntide Louts, Green Georges, John Barleycorns, and Kostrubonkos, Carrying-out-Winter, Bringing-in-Summer, and Killing of the Christmas Wren have continued…
    Joseph Campbell  --  The Hero With a Thousand Faces
  • After the president of the zoo came to my shop, he ran back to name the baboon Adonis.
    Mark Helprin  --  A Soldier of the Great War
  • He stood five feet and nothing, but was well-built, like a scale model of Adonis, and with him arrived the stink of stale cigarette smoke.
    John Green  --  Looking for Alaska
  • Marilyn gives JFK a chrome Ronson Adonis cigarette lighter as a gift to remind him of their special time together, although the president certainly needs no reminder of his time with the world’s leading sex symbol.
    Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard  --  Killing Kennedy
  • This man, a friend of Jean de Satigny, had transformed his humble raw materials—flour, eggs, and sugar—into a replica of the Acropolis crowned with a cloud of meringue on which rested two mythological lovers, Venus and Adonis, fashioned out of almond paste colored to imitate the rosy tones of their flesh, their blond hair, and the cobalt blue of their eyes; with them was a pudgy Cupid, also edible, which was sliced in half with a silver knife by the proud groom and the dejected bridle.
    Isabel Allende  --  The House of Spirits
  • The greyeyed goddess who bends over the boy Adonis, stooping to conquer, as prologue to the swelling act, is a boldfaced Stratford wench who tumbles in a cornfield a lover younger than herself.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • I had drawn you as Paris in dainty armour, and as Adonis with huntsman’s cloak and polished boar-spear.
    Oscar Wilde  --  The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • He stood in the middle of the kitchen, the statue of Adonis again, staring abstractedly out the back windows.
    Stephenie Meyer  --  Twilight
  • Jones, you might at this instant sit for the picture of Adonis.
    Henry Fielding  --  Tom Jones
  • All former delights of turf, mess, hunting-field, and gambling-table; all previous loves and courtships of milliners, opera-dancers, and the like easy triumphs of the clumsy military Adonis, were quite insipid when compared to the lawful matrimonial pleasures which of late he had enjoyed.
    William Makepeace Thackeray  --  Vanity Fair
  • It was, perhaps, as much owing to this as to a very fine complexion that his face had a delicacy in it almost inexpressible, and which might have given him an air rather too effeminate, had it not been joined to a most masculine person and mien: which latter had as much in them of the Hercules as the former had of the Adonis.
    Henry Fielding  --  Tom Jones
  • It would look very smart upon one of the fine frilled shirts, which, with the gold-laced cap and the frogged frock coat, that might easily be cut down to suit his shape, and the Captain’s gold-headed cane, and the great double ring with the rubies, which he would have made into a pair of beautiful earrings, he calculated would make a perfect Adonis of himself, and render Mademoiselle Reine an easy prey.
    William Makepeace Thackeray  --  Vanity Fair
  • Nearer he drew, and many a walk traversed Of stateliest covert, cedar, pine, or palm; Then voluble and bold, now hid, now seen, Among thick-woven arborets, and flowers Imbordered on each bank, the hand of Eve: Spot more delicious than those gardens feigned Or of revived Adonis, or renowned Alcinous, host of old Laertes’ son; Or that, not mystick, where the sapient king Held dalliance with his fair Egyptian spouse.
    John Milton  --  Paradise Lost
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Associated words [difficulty]:   Adonis [7] , Hercules [3] , Achilles [4] , Medusa [4] , Pandora [4] , Cyclops [5] , Oedipus [5] , Midas [6] , Hydra [7] , Narcissus [7] , centaur [2] , Hercules [3] , Medusa [4] , Pandora [4] , Cyclops [5] , Oedipus [5] , Titans [5] , Cassandra [6] , Midas [6] , Nemesis [6] , Pegasus [6] , Agamemnon [7] , Hera [7] , Hydra [7] , Minotaur [7] , Sisyphus [7] , Orpheus [8] , Cerberus [9] , Daedalus [9] , Pan [9]
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