Definition of gargoyle
1a : a spout in the form of a grotesque human or animal figure projecting from a roof gutter to throw rainwater clear of a buildingb : a grotesquely carved figure
2 : a person with an ugly face
gargoyledplay \ˈgär-ˌgȯi(-ə)ld\ adjective
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Recent Examples of gargoyle from the Web
Docents show slides of the building’s whimsical and sometimes fierce stone gargoyles and grotesques, followed by an outdoor tour.
There was, on the porch at the feet of the dead bird, a hunched gargoyle.
Saturday, 2 p.m.: Gargoyle tour at Washington National Cathedral.
A police union official, Cedric Michel, said a man armed with a hammer went after the police officer, who was patrolling the esplanade in front of the world-famous cathedral known for its gothic architecture and gargoyles.
In fact, many of the racist proposals put forth by Trump didn’t originate from the gargoyle bobblehead of Steve Bannon.
The most famous gargoyle hunter was the art dealer Ivan Karp.
Ours are in the garage along with gargoyles, space aliens, clown heads, fog machines, animatronics, flood lights.
There are gargoyles, which are agile aliens that leap atop team members, essentially incapacitating them.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gargoyle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
In the 12th century, St. Bernard of Clairvaux reportedly complained about the new sculptures in the cloisters where he lived. "Surely," he is quoted as saying, "if we do not blush for such absurdities we should at least regret what we have spent on them." St. Bernard was apparently provoked by the grotesque figures designed to drain rainwater from buildings. By the 13th century, those figures were being called "gargoyles," a name that came to Middle English from the Old French gargoule. The stone beasts may have earned that name because of the water that gargled out of their throats and mouths.
Origin and Etymology of gargoyle
Middle English gargule, gargoyl, from Old French gargoule
First Known Use: 13th centurySee Words from the same year
GARGOYLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of gargoyle for English Language Learners
: a strange or ugly human or animal figure that sticks out from the roof of a building (such as a church)
GARGOYLE Defined for Kids
Definition of gargoyle for Students
: a strange or frightening human or animal figure that sticks out from the roof of a building and often serves as a waterspout
Seen and Heard
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