Lamia lā´mēə [key], in Greek mythology, grief-crazed woman whose name was used to frighten children. Her own children were killed by Hera, who was jealous of Zeus' love for her; thereafter Lamia, out of envy for happy mothers, stole and killed the children of others. In later legend, the name Lamia was also used for a woman who lured a youth to his destruction.
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