The primeval being of Scandinavian mythology, the giant from whose body the world was created. He was nourished by the four milky streams which flowed from the cow Audhumla.
One account has it that while he slept a man and woman grew out of his left arm, and sons from his feet. Thus was generated the race of the frost-giants. Another legend relates that when Odin and his two brothers slew Ymir, and threw his carcass into the Ginnungagap (Abyss of Abysses), his blood formed the waters and the ocean, his bones the mountains, his teeth the rocks, his skull the heavens, his brains the clouds, his hair plants of every kind, and his eyebrows the wall of defense against the giants.