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griffin1

[grif-in]
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noun Classical Mythology.
  1. a fabled monster, usually having the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion.
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Also griffon, gryph·on [grif-uh n] /ˈgrɪf ən/.

Origin of griffin1

1300–50; Middle English griffoun < Middle French grifon < Latin grȳphus < Greek grȳp- (stem of grȳ́ps) curled, curved, having a hooked nose
Related formsgrif·fin·esque, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for gryphon

gryphon

noun
  1. a variant of griffin 1
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griffin1

griffon or gryphon

noun
  1. a winged monster with an eagle-like head and the body of a lion
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Word Origin

C14: from Old French grifon, from Latin grӯphus, from Greek grups, from grupos hooked

griffin2

noun
  1. a newcomer to the Orient, esp one from W Europe
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Word Origin

C18: of unknown origin
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 gryphon

n.

alternative spelling of griffin.

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griffin

n.

c.1200 (as a surname), from Old French grifon "a bird of prey," also "fabulous bird of Greek mythology" (with head and wings of an eagle, body and hind quarters of a lion, believed to inhabit Scythia and guard its gold), from Late Latin gryphus, misspelling of grypus, variant of gryps (genitive grypos), from Greek gryps (genitive grypos) "curved, hook-nosed," in reference to its beak.

Klein suggests a Semitic source, "through the medium of the Hittites," and cites Hebrew kerubh "a winged angel," Akkad. karibu, epithet of the bull-colossus (see cherub). The same or an identical word was used, with uncertain connections, in mid-19c. Louisiana to mean "mulatto" (especially one one-quarter or two-fifths white) and in India from late 18c. to mean "newly arrived European."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper