Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

gargoyle

[gahr-goil]
See more synonyms for gargoyle on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a grotesquely carved figure of a human or animal.
  2. 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.
Show More

Origin of gargoyle

1250–1300; Middle English gargoile < Old French gargouille, gargoule literally, throat; see gargle
Related formsgar·goyled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

pigmonstercreaturebarbarianmonstrosityswinegluttonfiendgargoylequadrupedvarmintcritterbeastie

Examples from the Web for gargoyle

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for gargoyle

gargoyle

noun
  1. a waterspout carved in the form of a grotesque face or creature and projecting from a roof gutter, esp of a Gothic church
  2. any grotesque ornament or projection, esp on a building
  3. a person with a grotesque appearance
Show More
Derived Formsgargoyled, adjective

Word Origin

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

n.

"grotesque carved waterspout," late 13c., gargurl, from Old French gargole "throat, waterspout" (see gargle).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

gargoyle in Culture

gargoyle

A sculpture depicting grotesque human shapes or evil spirits used in many buildings of the Middle Ages, most notably on Gothic cathedrals (see also cathedral). Some gargoyles drained rainwater, sending it clear of the walls of the building.

Show More
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.