sphinx

noun
\ ˈsfiŋ(k)s How to pronounce sphinx (audio) \
plural sphinxes or sphinges\ ˈsfin-​ˌjēz How to pronounce sphinges (audio) \

Definition of sphinx

1a capitalized : a winged female monster in Greek mythology having a woman's head and a lion's body and noted for killing anyone unable to answer its riddle
b : an enigmatic or mysterious person she is a sphinx whose features hold a blank fascination
2 : an ancient Egyptian image in the form of a recumbent lion having a man's head, a ram's head, or a hawk's head

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Other Words from sphinx

sphinxlike \ ˈsfiŋ(k)s-​ˌlīk How to pronounce sphinxlike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of sphinx in a Sentence

a statue of the Sphinx

Recent Examples on the Web

The bus, a 1963 11-window Deluxe, was covered in symbols and languages, with a dollop of astrology, a sphinx, heavenly bodies, and the Hindu diety Vishnu, conveying messages of hope and enlightenment. David Morgan, CBS News, "A Woodstock icon recreated: The VW "Light Bus"," 4 Aug. 2019 In another project, archaeologists discovered a stunning sphinx statue at an ancient temple in southern Egypt. Fox News, "Ancient Egyptian fortress built by Ramses II reveals its secrets," 15 June 2019 June 13 is moving day, the first time the sphinx has left the Egyptian galleries in nearly a century. Stephan Salisbury, https://www.inquirer.com, "N.C. Wyeth, Penn Museum’s moving sphinx, Gee’s Bend quilters, and more museum highlights," 5 June 2019 Moving the iconic statue—which is the largest sphinx in the western hemisphere—takes more than a dolly and a few burly movers. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "The Penn Museum Just Floated a 12-Ton Sphinx Out a Window," 13 June 2019 Additionally, a mysterious sphinx, was discovered during roadwork in the Egyptian city of Luxor. James Rogers, Fox News, "'Cursed' ancient Egyptian sarcophagus reveals its grisly secrets," 21 Aug. 2018 Striking the perfect balance of opulence, rigor, and surprise, Sills combined a soft palette and sharply edited antiques with an energetic Robert Kelly stripe painting that seems to be begging the garden sphinx in front of it to stand up. Kathleen Hackett, ELLE Decor, "Return Engagement," 7 June 2012 Inside, small vignettes turn up here and there, composed from little toys, knickknacks and accoutrements with African and African American ties — basketball players, Egyptian sphinxes, braided hair extensions, black ballerinas. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "Lauren Halsey takes a fantastic voyage in MOCA's 'we still here, there'," 24 May 2018 In the rankings of unusual critters, the Slingshot is up there with the sphinx, centaur, and chimera. Alex Davies, WIRED, "The Delightfully Nonsensical Slingshot Might Just Be the Future of Driving," 4 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sphinx.' 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 sphinx

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for sphinx

Latin, from Greek Sphinx, Sphix

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Statistics for sphinx

Last Updated

10 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for sphinx

The first known use of sphinx was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for sphinx

sphinx

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sphinx

in ancient Greek and Egyptian stories : a creature with the body of a lion and the head of a person also : something (such as a statue) in the shape of a sphinx

sphinx

noun
\ ˈsfiŋks How to pronounce sphinx (audio) \

Kids Definition of sphinx

: a mythical figure of ancient Egypt having the body of a lion and the head of a man, a ram, or a hawk

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More from Merriam-Webster on sphinx

Spanish Central: Translation of sphinx

Nglish: Translation of sphinx for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sphinx

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