- a figure of an imaginary creature having the head of a man or an animal and the body of a lion.
- (usually initial capital letter) the colossal recumbent stone figure of this kind near the pyramids of Giza.
Origin of sphinx
Words nearby sphinx
How to use sphinx in a sentence
Dulles, Moses recalls, sat as silent as a sphinx, and the meeting ended inconclusively.The 1964 Miss. Freedom Summer Protests Won Progress At a Bloody Price|Nicolaus Mills|June 21, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The first cat on the catwalk (sorry, we had to) was Vengeance, a 12-week-old Sphinx in an argyle sweater.
Next out was Madeline, a one-and-a-half year old Sphinx in a frilly pink ballerina outfit.
Sphinx cats (think Mr. Bigglesworth) are apparently more likely to tolerate clothing, as they are naturally fur-less.
Betty smiles so rarely on Mad Men that when she does it holds special importance, akin to a sphinx letting her guard down.
But his countenance still bore that sphinx-like expression which so often caused his friends to entertain vague suspicions.The Doctor of Pimlico|William Le Queux
By jove, just that moment—then I caught an expression—I say, do you know you would make a remarkable symbolic study of the Sphinx?The Woman Gives|Owen Johnson
The rain falls, the mud deepens; the beautiful sphinx lies still, her eyes lost in the dull horizon.The Nabob|Alphonse Daudet
The sphinx, which men have imagined concealing herself in the cloud, seemed to mock him with a dilemma.
A terrible sphinx propounding a terrible riddle; the riddle of the existence of Evil.
British Dictionary definitions for sphinx (1 of 2)
British Dictionary definitions for sphinx (2 of 2)
Word Origin for Sphinx
Cultural definitions for sphinx (1 of 2)
In the story of Oedipus, a winged monster with the head of a woman and the body of a lion. It waylaid travelers on the roads near the city of Thebes and would kill any of them who could not answer this riddle: “What creatures walk on four legs in the morning, on two legs at noon, and on three legs in the evening?” Oedipus finally gave the correct answer: human beings, who go on all fours as infants, walk upright in maturity, and in old age rely on the “third leg” of a cane.
notes for Sphinx
Cultural definitions for sphinx (2 of 2)
A great sculpture carved from the rock near the Egyptian pyramids in about 2500 b.c. It depicts a creature from Egyptian mythology with the head of a man and the body of a lion. (See under “Mythology and Folklore.”)