[gawr-guh n]


Classical Mythology. any of three sister monsters commonly represented as having snakes for hair, wings, brazen claws, and eyes that turned anyone looking into them to stone. Medusa, the only mortal Gorgon, was beheaded by Perseus.
(lowercase) a mean, ugly, or repulsive woman.

Origin of Gorgon

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin Gorgōn < Greek Gorgṓ, derivative of gorgós dreadful
Related formsGor·go·ni·an [gawr-goh-nee-uh n] /gɔrˈgoʊ ni ən/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gorgon

Contemporary Examples of gorgon

Historical Examples of gorgon

  • In its surface he could safely look at the reflection of the Gorgon's face.

    The Gorgon's Head

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Hence the Gorgon, one of her consorts, was ordered to go ahead and lead the way.

  • The Gorgon cannot have looked more coldly wicked than her ladyship just then.

    The Lion's Skin

    Rafael Sabatini

  • Unfortunately the journal says very little of the Gorgon's voyage home.

  • "Surely the Gorgon was a kind of prehistoric suffragette," objected Dick.

British Dictionary definitions for gorgon



Greek myth any of three winged monstrous sisters, Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa, who had live snakes for hair, huge teeth, and brazen claws
(often not capital) informal a fierce or unpleasant woman

Word Origin for Gorgon

via Latin Gorgō from Greek, from gorgos terrible
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 gorgon


late 14c., any of the three hideous sisters in Greek legend, whose look turned beholders to stone (Madusa was one of them), from Greek Gorgo (plural Gorgones), from gorgos "terrible," of unknown origin. Transferred sense of "terrifyingly ugly person" is from 1520s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper