What is the meaning and origin of `chimera’?

This is a formal word and it is used to refer to a crazy or a wild idea; something that is extremely unlikely to come true.

 The `ch’ is like the `k’ in `king’, `key’, and `kiss’, and the following `i’ is like the `ie’ in `tie’, `pie’, and `die’. The `e’ is like `ea’ in `fear’, `dear’ and `ear’; the final `a’ is like the `a’ in `china’. The main stress is on the second syllable. This is one of the ways of pronouncing the word.

*The idea that cricket is a gentleman’s game is just a chimera. *Expecting honesty from our politicians continues to be as much a chimera as ever.

The original `chimera’ was a fire-breathing monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a snake’s tail. Now do you understand why the word means a fanciful or crazy idea?

 Source:  ‘Know Your English’ Series – The Hindu Daily, Oct 03, 2005 

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