- , CHIMERICALIn today's language the adjective chimeric, or chimerical, means visionary, fantastic, unreal, or wildly improbable. The word stems from a mythological story of a she-monster named Chimera. This fire-breathing monster was represented as spewing flames and usually as having a lion's head, a goat's body, and a dragon's tail.Chimera's doom stemmed from the fury of a woman scorned. Chimera was ravaging Lycia, in Asia Minor, and King lobates sought a hero to destroy the monster. Coincidental with the king's search for a dragon slayer was the arrival of Bellerophon. He had been sent there with a scaled message from King Proteus of Argos demanding that Bellerophon be slain. King Proteus's wife had fallen in love with Bellerophon, but when he spurned her, she accused him of trying to seduce her. King Proteus was unwilling to kill him because he was a guest in Proteus's court. Hence his plan to have King lobates execute the letter-bearer. lobates figured out a good way to dispose of his guest and the Chimera simultaneously. He pitted Bellerophon against Chimera, fully expecting him to perish. But the ingenious youth had captured and tamed the winged Pegasus, surprised Chimera by riding above the dragon, and slew it with his bow and arrows.
Dictionary of eponyms. Morton S. Freeman. 2013.