from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Greek Mythology A king who for his crimes was condemned in Hades to stand in water that receded when he tried to drink, and with fruit hanging above him that receded when he reached for it.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- proper n. Mycteria, the genus of certain storks.
- proper n. A Phrygian king who was condemned to remain in Tartarus, chin deep in water, with fruit-laden branches hanging above his head; whenever he tried to drink or eat, the water and fruit receded out of reach.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A Phrygian king who was punished in the lower world by being placed in the midst of a lake whose waters reached to his chin but receded whenever he attempted to allay his thirst, while over his head hung branches laden with choice fruit which likewise receded whenever he stretched out his hand to grasp them.
- n. A genus of wading birds comprising the wood ibises.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. [lowercase] A case containing decanters. It is locked so that the decanters are in plain sight, yet the contents cannot be removed without the owner's key.
- n. The leading genus of Tantalinæ, now generally separated into two.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. (Greek mythology) a wicked king and son of Zeus; condemned in Hades to stand in water that receded when he tried to drink and beneath fruit that receded when he reached for it
Latin, from Greek Tantalos; see telə- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)