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 riddleb : 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
sphinxlikeplay \ˈsfiŋ(k)s-ˌlīk\ adjective
Examples of sphinx in a Sentence
a statue of the Sphinx
Recent Examples of sphinx from the Web
The old Volkswagen Kombi is covered in colors and symbols that span ages, continents and astral planes: a sphinx, an eagle, stars and moons, writhing flames and wiggling waves, the Aquarius zodiac sign and the 10 incarnations of Vishnu.
Next to him, a glamourous-looking black and white Rat Terrier, who held two titles and just got back from showing at Westminster, sat like a sphinx atop his kennel to observe the morning's shuffling potluck of breakfast foods and warm donuts nearby.
The carvings consist of subjects including a ship, a sphinx, and the faces of Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and legendary baseball player Ty Cobb.
While whistling helps the walnut sphinx live to see another day, the vocalizations serve many other purposes in nature.
The first face-to-face encounter between the American President and his Chinese counterpart was expected to follow a predictable arc—the plutocrat and the Communist, the blowhard and the sphinx, the weary protectionist and the reluctant globalist.
Heroes of Ruin takes place in the fantasy realm of Veil where Ataraxis, the sphinx ruler of hub world Nexus, is dying.
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.
Origin and Etymology of sphinx
Latin, from Greek Sphinx, Sphix
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
SPHINX Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of sphinx for English Language Learners
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 Defined for Kids
Definition of sphinx for Students
: a mythical figure of ancient Egypt having the body of a lion and the head of a man, a ram, or a hawk
Seen and Heard
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