(2 syl.). Sea-nymphs, daughter of Nereus (2 syl.), fifty in number.
Nereids or Nereides (4 syl.). Seanymphs. Camoens, in his Lusiad, gives the names of three- Doto, Nyse, and Nerine; but he has spiritualised their office, and makes them the sea-guardians of the virtuous. They went before the fleet of Gama, and when the treacherous pilot supplied by Zaceeia, King of Mozambique, steered the ship of Vasco da Gama towards a sunken rock, these guardian nymphs pressed against the prow, lifting it from the water and turning it round. The pilot, looking to see the cause of this strange occurrence, beheld the rock which had nearly proved the ruin of the whole fleet (bk. ii.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894