grif·​fin ˈgri-fən How to pronounce griffin (audio)
variants or griffon or less commonly gryphon
: a mythical animal typically having the head, forepart, and wings of an eagle and the body, hind legs, and tail of a lion

Illustration of griffin

Illustration of griffin

Examples of griffin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Enlarge / Painting of a gryphon, or griffin, a lion-raptor chimera from ancient folklore. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 25 June 2024 The latter are said to have informed the lore and appearance of the former, but a study suggests that there is no compelling connection between dinosaurs and griffins. Paul Smaglik, Discover Magazine, 25 June 2024 Sure, you’ll get pummeled by giant monsters, from griffins and ogres to lumbering cyclopses, but more than honing your combat skills, the game is all about internalizing its airtight logic and acting accordingly. Lewis Gordon, Vulture, 5 June 2024 In many ways, the dragon, the griffin, and the unicorn were the three mythical darlings of medieval Europe. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 30 Oct. 2023 But the showstoppers are the windows: high, arched, and set with leaded glass that includes rondels of colorful scenes (a white castle under attack by griffins, a golden lion wearing a tiny golden crown). Adriane Quinlan, Curbed, 19 Jan. 2023 At the same time, its ornamental exterior, with carvings of twisting leaves and winged griffins, could charm even 1980s minimalists. Adriane Quinlan, Curbed, 24 Apr. 2023 Only the sphinxes stand guard vainly over the rivers, which are leaving, and the lions and the griffins. Eugene Ostashevsky, The New York Review of Books, 4 May 2023 See the colossal stone troll, the mysterious Indrik and Japanese Baku, the tooth fairy, adorable unicorns and majestic griffins. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, 19 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'griffin.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near griffin

Cite this Entry

“Griffin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants or griffon also gryphon
: an imaginary animal that is half eagle and half lion

Geographical Definition


geographical name

Grif·​fin ˈgri-fən How to pronounce Griffin (audio)
city south-southeast of Atlanta in west central Georgia population 23,643

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Grif·​fin ˈgri-fən How to pronounce Griffin (audio)
Walter Burley 1876–1937 American architect

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