- a grotesquely carved figure of a human or animal.
- a spout, terminating in a grotesque representation of a human or animal figure with open mouth, projecting from the gutter of a building for throwing rain water clear of a building.
Origin of gargoyle
1250–1300; Middle English gargoile < Old French gargouille, gargoule literally, throat; see gargle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for gargoyle
With his right eye closed, Alvarado was looking like a gargoyle and there was nothing left in his offensive tank.Boxers, Be Brave and Quit Before Your Brain Turns to Mush
October 25, 2013
John dear, it was that scalloped fire which Gargoyle was staring at.
I only saw and smelled the flowers; Gargoyle looked as if he felt them!
Yet, if ever the moment had come to question him who had once been "Gargoyle," that moment was come now!
He is too much the gargoyle himself for the delights of dizziness.Journeys to Bagdad
Charles S. Brooks
It is like Socrates, that head; and like a gargoyle on the tower of Notre Dame.Suspended Judgments
John Cowper Powys
- a waterspout carved in the form of a grotesque face or creature and projecting from a roof gutter, esp of a Gothic church
- any grotesque ornament or projection, esp on a building
- a person with a grotesque appearance
C15: from Old French gargouille gargoyle, throat; see gargle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for gargoyle
"grotesque carved waterspout," late 13c., gargurl, from Old French gargole "throat, waterspout" (see gargle).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.