grif·​fin | \ ˈgri-fən How to pronounce griffin (audio) \
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 How to pronounce Griffin (audio) \

Definition of Griffin (Entry 2 of 3)

Walter Burley 1876–1937 American architect


geographical name
Grif·​fin | \ ˈgri-fən How to pronounce Griffin (audio) \

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

Choose from a dragon, a monkey, a cat, an owl or a griffin. Emily Sabens, Indianapolis Star, "13 cool, cute and downright interesting things you can buy at Gen Con 2019," 2 Aug. 2019 Bestiaries extolled the glory of the Christian G od through the application of vivid splendor to his creation, whether proved to be real like a lion and pelican or believed to exist in a far-off realm like the griffin and unicorn. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Unicorns are just one of the wild rides in the Getty’s marvelous ‘Book of Beasts’," 23 July 2019 For every lion there’s a griffin — a lion’s body fused with an eagle’s head, wings and sometimes talons — and for every pelican, a fire-breathing dragon. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Unicorns are just one of the wild rides in the Getty’s marvelous ‘Book of Beasts’," 23 July 2019 Kraken and dark flame, lion and griffin, the sun's son and the mummer's dragon. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "All the Signs Arya Stark Is Going to Kill Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones," 13 May 2019 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

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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Last Updated

9 Aug 2019

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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

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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