immature form of an insect with incomplete development. resembling a smaller version of the adult without wings.
In this 1896 painting of Hylas and the Nymphs by John William Waterhouse, Hylas is abducted by the Naiads, I.e. fresh water nymphs
|Sub grouping||Nature spirit|
|Similar creatures||Mermaid, huldra, selkie, siren|
A nymph (Greek: νύμφη nýmphē, Ancient: [nýmpʰɛː] Modern: [nífi]) in Greek mythology is a supernatural being associated with many other minor female deities that are often associated with the air, seas, woods, or water, or particular locations or landforms. Different from Greek goddesses, nymphs are more generally regarded as divine spirits who animate or maintain Nature (natural forces reified and considered as a sentient being) for the environments where they live, and are usually depicted as beautiful, young graceful maidens. They were not necessarily immortal, but lived many years before they died.
They are often divided into various broad subgroups, such as Aurai (winds), Hesperides (evening and sunsets), Nereides (seas), Naiades or (rivers and streams), Oceanids (water), Dryades (trees and forests) or Alseids (groves and glens.)
Nymphs often feature in many classic works of art, literature, mythology and in fiction. Since medieval times, nymphs are sometimes popularly associated, or even confused, with the mythical or spiritual fairies.