Guinevere (gwĭnˈəvĭrˌ, gwĕnˈ–) [key], in Arthurian legend, wife of King Arthur. Her illicit and tragic love for Sir Launcelot, which foreshadowed the downfall of Arthur's kingdom, ends with her retirement to a convent. She also figures in several early romances and Celtic legends, her name appearing in various forms (e.g., Guanhamara, Gvenour, and Gwenhwyfars). In different versions of the Arthurian story her name appears as Guenevere and Guinever.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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