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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Nereid \Ne"re*id\, n.; pl. E. Nereids, L. Nereides. [L. Nereis, -idis, Gr. Nhrei:`s Nhrhi:`s, Nhrhi:`dos, a daughter of Nereus, a nymph of the sea, fr. Nhrey`s Nereus, an ancient sea god; akin to nhro`s wet, Skr. n[=a]ra water, cf. Gr. na`ein to flow.] 1. (Class. Myth.) A sea nymph, one of the daughters of Nereus, who were attendants upon Neptune, and were represented as riding on sea horses, sometimes with the human form entire, and sometimes with the tail of a fish. [1913 Webster] 2. (Zool.) Any species of Nereis. The word is sometimes used for similar annelids of other families. [1913 Webster]