man·​ti·​core | \ ˈman-ti-ˌkȯr How to pronounce manticore (audio) \

Definition of manticore

: a legendary animal with the head of a man, the body of a lion, and the tail of a dragon or scorpion

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A mythical creature of ancient fables, the manticore keeps company with the better-known unicorn, dragon, and griffin. Descriptions of the manticore's features sometimes differ (some accounts mention porcupine quills or poisonous spikes, for example; others depict the tail as having a serpent's head), but the animal is by all accounts a dreadful beast. The word manticore came to English through Greek and Latin, and is probably ultimately of Iranian origin. Etymologists think it is related to an Old Persian word for "man-eater."

Examples of manticore in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the repertoire of Renaissance cartographers, fierce mythical beasts—from sea serpents to manticores—represented dangers of unknown worlds. Michael Engelhard, Smithsonian, "How Polar Bears Became the Dragons of the North," 31 May 2017 Each terrace holds nasty monsters, alternating with water or dry-land creatures: giant crayfish, giant scorpions, sea lions, and three manticores. Ken Denmead, WIRED, "Top 10 D&D Modules I Found in Storage This Weekend – Finale! (GeekDad Wayback Machine)," 29 Dec. 2010

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

First Known Use of manticore

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for manticore

Middle English, from Latin mantichora, from Greek mantichōras

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

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Cite this Entry

“Manticore.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2021.

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