griffin

play
noun grif·fin \ˈgri-fən\
variants: or

griffon

or less commonly

Definition of griffin

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

Recent Examples of griffin from the Web

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.

Illustration of griffin

Origin and Etymology of griffin

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


Griffin

play
biographical name Grif·fin \ˈgri-fən\

Definition of Griffin

  1. Walter Burley 1876–1937 American architect


Griffin

play
geographical name Grif·fin \ˈgri-fən\

Definition of Griffin

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


GRIFFIN Defined for English Language Learners

griffin

play
noun

Definition of griffin for English Language Learners

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


GRIFFIN Defined for Kids

griffin

noun grif·fin \ˈgri-fən\
variants: or

griffon

also

gryphon

\ˈgri-fən\

Definition of griffin for Students

  1. :  an imaginary animal that is half eagle and half lion

History for griffin

The word griffin is borrowed, through medieval French and Latin, from the ancient Greek word gryps. The image of an animal combining features of a lion and a bird of prey was borrowed by the Greeks from the ancient Near Eastern world. The word gryps may have been borrowed as well, as it resembles karību, a word for winged lions in Akkadian, the language of ancient Babylonia and Assyria. On the other hand, gryps may have been influenced by Greek gyps, “vulture,” and grypos, “curved, bent” (of a bird's beak or claws).



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to relieve or lessen

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time-traveler-quiz-which-word-came-first
  • Which came first?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!