sphinx(redirected from Sphinx' riddle)
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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.]
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]
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
n., pl. sphinx•es, sphin•ges (ˈsfɪn dʒiz)
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]
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|Noun||1.||sphinx - an inscrutable person who keeps his thoughts and intentions secret|
|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
|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