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

sphinx

play
noun \ˈsfiŋ(k)s\

Simple Definition of sphinx

  • in ancient Greek and Egyptian stories : a creature with the body of a lion and the head of a person; also : something (such as a statue) in the shape of a sphinx

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of sphinx

plural sphinxes or sphinges play \ˈsfin-ˌjēz\

  1. 1a capitalized :  a winged female monster in Greek mythology having a woman's head and a lion's body and noted for killing anyone unable to answer its riddleb :  an enigmatic or mysterious person <she is a sphinx whose features hold a blank fascination>

  2. 2 :  an ancient Egyptian image in the form of a recumbent lion having a man's head, a ram's head, or a hawk's head

sphinxlike play \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of sphinx in a sentence

  1. a statue of the Sphinx



Origin of sphinx

Latin, from Greek Sphinx, Sphix


First Known Use: 15th century


SPHINX Defined for Kids

sphinx

play
noun \ˈsfiŋks\

Definition of sphinx for Students

  1. :  a mythical figure of ancient Egypt having the body of a lion and the head of a man, a ram, or a hawk





Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a smart aleck

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

prompt oily maudlin angry
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ