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Har"py (h&ä;r"pӗ), n.; pl. Harpies (-pĭz). [F. harpie, L. harpyia, Gr. "a`rpyia, from the root of "arpa`zein to snatch, to seize. Cf. Rapacious.] 1. (Gr. Myth.) A fabulous winged monster, ravenous and filthy, having the face of a woman and the body of a vulture, with long claws, and the face pale with hunger. Some writers mention two, others three.
Both table and provisions vanished quite. Milton.
With sound of harpies' wings and talons heard.
2. One who is rapacious or ravenous; an extortioner.
The harpies about all pocket the pool. Goldsmith.
3. (Zo&ö;l.) (a) The European moor buzzard or marsh harrier (Circus æruginosus). (b) A large and powerful, double-crested, short-winged American eagle (Thrasaëtus harpyia). It ranges from Texas to Brazil.
Harpy bat (Zo&ö;l.) (a) An East Indian fruit bat of the genus Harpyia (esp. Harpyia cephalotes), having prominent, tubular nostrils. (b) A small, insectivorous Indian bat (Harpiocephalus harpia). -- Harpy fly (Zo&ö;l.), the house fly.