sphinx


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sphinx

 (sfĭngks)
n.
1. pl. sphinx·es or sphin·ges (sfĭn′jēz′)
a. Mythology A figure in Egyptian myth having the body of a lion and the head of a man, ram, or hawk.
b. often Sphinx Greek Mythology A winged creature having the head of a woman and the body of a lion, noted for killing those who could not answer its riddle.
2. pl. sphinxes A puzzling or mysterious person.
3. pl. sphinxes also sphinx Variant of sphynx.

[Middle English Spynx, from Latin Sphinx, from Greek.]

Sphinx

(sfɪŋks)
n
1. (Classical Myth & Legend) Greek myth a monster with a woman's head and a lion's body. She lay outside Thebes, asking travellers a riddle and killing them when they failed to answer it. Oedipus answered the riddle and the Sphinx then killed herself
2. (Archaeology) the huge statue of a sphinx near the pyramids at El Gîza in Egypt, of which the head is a carved portrait of the fourth-dynasty Pharaoh, Chephrēn
[C16: via Latin from Greek, apparently from sphingein to hold fast]

sphinx

(sfɪŋks)
n, pl sphinxes or sphinges (ˈsfɪndʒiːz)
1. (Archaeology) any of a number of huge stone statues built by the ancient Egyptians, having the body of a lion and the head of a man
2. an inscrutable person

sphinx

(sfɪŋks)

n., pl. sphinx•es, sphin•ges (ˈsfɪn dʒiz)
1.
a. an ancient Egyptian figure of an imaginary creature having the body of a lion and the head of a human or sometimes an animal.
b. (usu. cap.) the colossal recumbent stone figure of this kind near the pyramids of Giza.
2. (cap.) (in Greek myth) a monster, usu. represented as having the head and breasts of a woman, the body of a lion, and the wings of an eagle, who killed wayfarers unable to answer the riddle she posed to them.
3. a mysterious, inscrutable person or thing.
[1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin < Greek Sphínx, Sphíx, Phíx]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.sphinx - an inscrutable person who keeps his thoughts and intentions secret
individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul - a human being; "there was too much for one person to do"
2.Sphinx - (Greek mythology) a riddling winged monster with a woman's head and breast on a lion's body; daughter of Typhon
Greek mythology - the mythology of the ancient Greeks
mythical creature, mythical monster - a monster renowned in folklore and myth
3.sphinx - one of a number of large stone statues with the body of a lion and the head of a man that were built by the ancient Egyptians
statue - a sculpture representing a human or animal
Translations
sfinx
Sfinkssphinx
sfinksi
szfinx
sfinksas
sphynx
sfinks
sfinx
sfinga
gåtasfinx

sphinx

[sfɪŋks] N (sphinxes (pl)) → esfinge f

sphinx

[ˈsfɪŋks] nsphinx m

sphinx

nSphinx f

sphinx

[sfɪŋks] n (also) (fig) → sfinge f
References in classic literature ?
It was a People's Course, the lecture on the Pyramids, and Jo rather wondered at the choice of such a subject for such an audience, but took it for granted that some great social evil would be remedied or some great want supplied by unfolding the glories of the Pharaohs to an audience whose thoughts were busy with the price of coal and flour, and whose lives were spent in trying to solve harder riddles than that of the Sphinx.
If the Sperm Whale be physiognomically a Sphinx, to the phrenologist his brain seems that geometrical circle which it is impossible to square.
Heavily weighs on me at times the burdensome reflection that I cannot honestly say I am confident as to the exact shape of the once-seen, oft-regretted Cube; and in my nightly visions the mysterious precept, "Upward, not Northward", haunts me like a soul-devouring Sphinx.
I regarded him with fear mingled with interest, as, doubtless, OEdiphus regarded the Sphinx.
It was of white marble, in shape something like a winged sphinx, but the wings, instead of being carried vertically at the sides, were spread so that it seemed to hover.
Not the gross immobility of a Sphinx proposing roadside riddles but the finer immobility, almost sacred, of a fateful figure seated at the very source of the passions that have moved men from the dawn of ages.
In the first place, let me read to you a schoolboy account of the genus Sphinx, of the family Crepuscularia of the order Lepidoptera, of the class of Insecta -- or insects.
Looking up in an enforced pause, I saw Santos whispering in the skipper's ear, with the expression of a sphinx but no lack of foreign gesticulation - behind them a fringe of terror-stricken faces, parted at that instant by two more figures, as wild and strange as any in that wild, strange scene.
And opening the window of his cell he pointed out with his finger the immense church of Notre-Dame, which, outlining against the starry sky the black silhouette of its two towers, its stone flanks, its monstrous haunches, seemed an enormous two-headed sphinx, seated in the middle of the city.
But before he did so he called gently to Jane upon the opposite side of the sailcloth partition, for he wished to apologize, but he might as well have addressed the Sphinx.
He told him of the red ibises, who stand in long rows on the banks of the Nile, and catch gold-fish in their beaks; of the Sphinx, who is as old as the world itself, and lives in the desert, and knows everything; of the merchants, who walk slowly by the side of their camels, and carry amber beads in their hands; of the King of the Mountains of the Moon, who is as black as ebony, and worships a large crystal; of the great green snake that sleeps in a palm-tree, and has twenty priests to feed it with honey-cakes; and of the pygmies who sail over a big lake on large flat leaves, and are always at war with the butterflies.
My dear fellow, my house is simply a hell just now, a sort of sphinx has taken up its abode there.