grif·​fin | \ ˈgri-fən \
variants: or griffon or less commonly

Definition of griffin

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a mythical animal typically having the head, forepart, and wings of an eagle and the body, hind legs, and tail of a lion


biographical name
Grif·​fin | \ ˈgri-fən \

Definition of Griffin (Entry 2 of 3)

Walter Burley 1876–1937 American architect


geographical name
Grif·​fin | \ ˈgri-fən \

Definition of Griffin (Entry 3 of 3)

city south-southeast of Atlanta in west central Georgia population 23,643

Illustration of griffin

Illustration of griffin


In the meaning defined above

Examples of griffin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But no sooner have the guests arrived than someone tips a heavy stone griffin down upon the star witness. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: Tales of Three Blood-Soaked Cities," 30 Nov. 2018 All around us in the sanctuary, crumbling frescoes reached up into the nave: centaurs and griffins, eagle knights and coyote warriors. Junot Díaz, The New Yorker, "The Hunt for Mexico’s Heirloom Beans," 17 Apr. 2018 Others are scattered apparently randomly: an Athena here, a horse or a satyr there, among bulls’ heads, griffins, sphinxes, garden urns or busts of 5th-century B.C. Athenian philosopher Socrates and the 19th-century Greek poet Dionysios Solomos. Washington Post, "Greek terracotta workshop produces an army of gods," 23 Dec. 2017 Another yields seal stones carved with intricate designs: three reclining bulls; a griffin with outstretched wings. Myrto Papadopoulos, Smithsonian, "This 3,500-Year-Old Greek Tomb Upended What We Thought We Knew About the Roots of Western Civilization," 30 Sep. 2017 Inside, skeletons of a lion, a boar, a griffin and a few other animals decorate the shelves. Jane Perlez, New York Times, "Where the Wild Things Are: China’s Art Dreamers at the Guggenheim," 20 Sep. 2017 Griffins repeat Grossmont College won the Chet DeVore Award for athletic superiority in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference in the 2016-17 school year. John Maffei,, "Notebook: Littleton strikes gold in 3-on-3 hoops," 10 July 2017 The Griffins roster features 18 players who entered the postseason with playoff experience, including three who won the Calder Cup with the team in 2013. Paul Gackle, The Mercury News, "Barracuda regain their identity in Game 2 win over Grand Rapids," 21 May 2017 From the Latin root monstrum, a divine messenger of catastrophe, then adapted by the Old French to mean an animal of myriad origins: centaur, griffin, satyr. Ocean Vuong, The New Yorker, "A Letter to My Mother That She Will Never Read," 13 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'griffin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of griffin


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for griffin


Middle English griffon, from Anglo-French grif, griffun, from Latin gryphus, from Greek gryp-, gryps

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Statistics for griffin

Last Updated

25 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for griffin

The first known use of griffin was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of griffin

in stories : an animal that is half eagle and half lion


variants: or griffon also gryphon \ ˈgri-​fən \

Kids Definition of griffin

: an imaginary animal that is half eagle and half lion

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More from Merriam-Webster on griffin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with griffin

Britannica English: Translation of griffin for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about griffin

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excited commotion or publicity

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