Dictionary: A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z


noun, plural sphinxes, sphinges
[sfin-jeez] /ˈsfɪn dʒiz/ (Show IPA)

a figure of an imaginary creature having the head of a man or an animal and the body of a lion.
(usually initial capital letter) the colossal recumbent stone figure of this kind near the pyramids of Giza.

(initial capital letter) Classical Mythology. a monster, usually represented as having the head and breast of a woman, the body of a lion, and the wings of an eagle. Seated on a rock outside of Thebes, she proposed a riddle to travelers, killing them when they answered incorrectly, as all did before Oedipus. When he answered her riddle correctly the Sphinx killed herself.
any similar monster.
a mysterious, inscrutable person or thing, especially one given to enigmatic questions or answers.
noun (pl) sphinxes, sphinges (ˈsfɪndʒiːz)
any of a number of huge stone statues built by the ancient Egyptians, having the body of a lion and the head of a man
an inscrutable person
noun the Sphinx
(Greek myth) a monster with a woman’s head and a lion’s body. She lay outside Thebes, asking travellers a riddle and killing them when they failed to answer it. Oedipus answered the riddle and the Sphinx then killed herself
the huge statue of a sphinx near the pyramids at El Gîza in Egypt, of which the head is a carved portrait of the fourth-dynasty Pharaoh, Chephrēn
Sphinx [(sfingks)]

In the story of Oedipus, a winged monster with the head of a woman and the body of a lion. It waylaid travelers on the roads near the city of Thebes and would kill any of them who could not answer this riddle: “What creatures walk on four legs in the morning, on two legs at noon, and on three legs in the evening?” Oedipus finally gave the correct answer: human beings, who go on all fours as infants, walk upright in maturity, and in old age rely on the “third leg” of a cane.

Note: The sphinx of Greek mythology resembles the sphinx of Egyptian mythology but is distinct from it (the Egyptian sphinx had a man’s head). (See under “Fine Arts.”)

Sphinx [(sfingks)]

A great sculpture carved from the rock near the Egyptian pyramids in about 2500 b.c. It depicts a creature from Egyptian mythology with the head of a man and the body of a lion. (See under “Mythology and Folklore.”)


Read Also:

  • Sphinxlike

    adjective 1. like the Sphinx; enigmatic or inscrutable

  • Sphinx-moth

    noun 1. hawk moth. noun 1. (US & Canadian) another name for the hawk moth

  • Sphragistics

    [sfruh-jis-tiks] /sfrəˈdʒɪs tɪks/ noun, (used with a singular verb) 1. the scientific study of seals or signet rings. sphragistics /sfrəˈdʒɪstɪks/ noun 1. (functioning as sing) the study of seals and signet rings

  • Sphygmic

    adjective, Physiology, Medicine/Medical. 1. of or relating to the pulse. adjective 1. (physiol) of or relating to the pulse sphygmic sphyg·mic (sfĭg’mĭk) adj. Of or relating to the pulse.

Disclaimer: Sphinx definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.