Greek mythology: a creature with the head of a bull on the body of a man or, as described by Roman poet Ovid, “part man and part bull”. He dwelt at the centre of the Cretan Labyrinth, which was an elaborate maze-like construction designed by the architect Daedalus and his son Icarus, on the command of King Minos of Crete. Young Athenian men and women were sacrificed in the Cretan labyrinth until the Athenian hero Theseus killed him.
"Minotaur" was originally a proper noun in reference to this mythical figure. The use of "minotaur" as a common noun to refer to members of a generic race of bull-headed creatures developed much later, in 20th-century fantasy genre fiction. The word is now also used in reference to any creature that devours and/or destroys.
Etymology: Ancient Greek Μῑνώταυρος - a compound of the name Μίνως (Minos) and the noun ταύρος “bull”, translated as “(the) Bull of Minos”. In Crete, the Minotaur was known by its proper name, Asterion, a name shared with Minos’ foster-father. Latin Minotaurus, Etruscan Θevrumineś.