Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

gargoyle

play
noun gar·goyle \ˈgär-ˌgȯi(-ə)l\

Simple Definition of gargoyle

  • : a strange or ugly human or animal figure that sticks out from the roof of a building (such as a church)

Full Definition of gargoyle

  1. 1 a :  a spout in the form of a grotesque human or animal figure projecting from a roof gutter to throw rainwater clear of a building b :  a grotesquely carved figure

  2. 2 :  a person with an ugly face

gar·goyled play \-ˌgȯi(-ə)ld\ adjective

Illustration of gargoyle

Origin of gargoyle

Middle English gargule, gargoyl, from Old French gargoule


First Known Use: 13th century

Other Architecture Terms



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up gargoyle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

spindrift kittly-benders pince-nez duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ