A balaur is a creature in Romanian folklore, similar to a European dragon. A balaur is quite large, has fins, feet, and is polycephalous (it usually has three, sometimes seven, or even twelve serpent heads). As a traditional character which is found in most Romanian fairy tales, it represents Evil and must be defeated by Făt-Frumos in order to release the princess. It is also believed, in Wallachia that the saliva of a balaur can form precious stones.
The term Balaur (Macedo-Romanian bul'ar) is of unknown etymology. It has been linked with Albanian boljë ("snake") buljar ("water snake"), all terms possibly stemming from the same Thracian root, *bell- or *ber- "beast, monster", the traces of which can also be found in the name of the Greek mythological hero Bellerophon ("the beast killer"). The Transylvanian Saxon balaur "dragon", and balaura, an insult term in Serbia, are borrowed from Romanian. The Serbo-Croatian blavor/blaor/blavur ("European legless lizard") is cognate with balaur, and it is regarded as one of few pre-Slavic Balkan relict words in Serbo-Croatian. The maniraptor theropod Balaur bondoc is named after this creature.
- Alwyn David Rees; Brinley Rees (1961). Celtic Heritage: Ancient Tradition in Ireland and Wales. Thames & Hudson. p. 365.
- Alfred Owen Aldridge (1969). Comparative literature: matter and method. University of Illinois Press. p. 124.
- Cora Linn Morrison Daniels; Charles McClellan Stevens (1903). Encyclopaedia of Superstitions, Folklore, and the Occult Sciences of the World: A Comprehensive Library of Human Belief and Practice in the Mysteries of Life. J. H. Yewdale & sons Company. p. 1419.
- Balaur, in Alexandru Ciorănescu, Dicționarul etimologic român, Universidad de la Laguna, Tenerife, 1958-1966.
- Skok, Petar (1988) . Etimologijski rječnik hrvatskoga ili srpskoga jezika (in Serbo-Croatian). 1. Zagreb: Jugoslavenska akademija znanosti i umjetnosti. p. 170. ISBN 86-407-0064-8.
- "Balaur Dreadnought" at STOWiki.org