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manticore

[man-ti-kawr, -kohr]
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noun
  1. a legendary monster with a man's head, horns, a lion's body, and the tail of a dragon or, sometimes, a scorpion.
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Origin of manticore

1300–50; Middle English < Latin mantichōrās < Greek, erroneous reading for martichṓras < Iranian; compare Old Persian martiya- man, Avestan xvar- devour, Persian mardom-khar < man-eating; probably ultimately alluding to the tiger, once common in the Caspian Sea region
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for manticore

manticore

noun
  1. a monster with a lion's body, a scorpion's tail, and a man's head with three rows of teeth. It roamed the jungles of India and, like the Sphinx, would ask travellers a riddle and kill them when they failed to answer it
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Word Origin

C21: from Latin manticora, from Greek mantichōrās, corruption of martichorās, from Persian mardkhora man-eater
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 manticore

n.

fabulous monster with the body of a lion, head of a man, porcupine quills, and tail or sting of a scorpion, c.1300, from Latin manticora, from Greek mantikhoras, corruption of martikhoras, perhaps from Iranian compound *mar-tiya-khvara "man-eater;" cf. Old Persian maritya- "man" (from PIE *mar-t-yo-, from *mer- "to die," thus "mortal, human;" see mortal (adj.)) + kvar- "to eat," from PIE root *swel- (1) "to eat, drink" (see swallow (v.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper