- Classical Mythology. a giant with 100 eyes, set to guard the heifer Io: his eyes were transferred after his death to the peacock’s tail.
- a son of Phrixus and builder of the Argo.
- (in the Odyssey) Odysseus’ faithful dog, who recognized his master after twenty years and immediately died.
- any observant or vigilant person; a watchful guardian.
- (lowercase) Also argus pheasant. any of several brilliantly marked Malayan pheasants of the Argusianus or Rheinardia genera.
- either of two pheasants, Argusianus argus (great argus) or Rheinardia ocellata (crested argus), occurring in SE Asia and Indonesia. The males have very long tails marked with eyelike spots
- any of various brown butterflies, esp the Scotch argus (Erebia aethiops) found on moorland and in forests up to a height of 2000 m
- Greek myth a giant with a hundred eyes who was made guardian of the heifer Io. After he was killed by Hermes his eyes were transferred to the peacock’s tail
- a vigilant person; guardian
hundred-eyed giant of Greek mythology, late 14c., from Latin, from Greek Argos, literally “the bright one,” from argos “shining, bright” (see ). His epithet was Panoptes “all-eyes.” After his death, Hera transferred his eyes to the peacock’s tail. Used in figurative sense of “very vigilant person.”
A creature inwho had a hundred eyes. set him to watch over Io, a girl who had been seduced by and then turned into a cow; with Argus on guard, Zeus could not come to rescue Io, for only some of Argus’ eyes would be closed in sleep at any one time. , working on Zeus’ behalf, played music that put all the eyes to sleep and then killed Argus. Hera put his eyes in the tail of the peacock.