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griffin1

[grif-in] /ˈgrɪf ɪn/
noun, Classical Mythology
1.
a fabled monster, usually having the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion.
Also, griffon, gryphon.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English griffoun < Middle French grifon < Latin grȳphus < Greek grȳp- (stem of grȳ́ps) curled, curved, having a hooked nose
Related forms
griffinesque, adjective

griffin2

[grif-in] /ˈgrɪf ɪn/
noun
1.
(in India and the East) a newcomer, especially a white person from a Western country.
Origin
1785-95; origin uncertain
Related forms
griffinage, griffinhood, griffinism, noun
griffinish, adjective

Griffin

[grif-in] /ˈgrɪf ɪn/
noun
1.
a city in W Georgia.
2.
a male given name.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for griffin
  • The griffin was itself a compound creature, half lion and half eagle.
  • griffin thinks that geographically distant survivors may each have unique genes for resistance.
  • griffin later served time in jail for failing to perform the community-service requirement imposed as part of his sentence.
British Dictionary definitions for griffin

griffin1

/ˈɡrɪfɪn/
noun
1.
a winged monster with an eagle-like head and the body of a lion
Word Origin
C14: from Old French grifon, from Latin grӯphus, from Greek grups, from grupos hooked

griffin2

/ˈɡrɪfɪn/
noun
1.
a newcomer to the Orient, esp one from W Europe
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
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Word Origin and History for 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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for griffin

griffon

composite mythological creature with a lion's body (winged or wingless) and a bird's head, usually that of an eagle. The griffin was a favourite decorative motif in the ancient Middle Eastern and Mediterranean lands. Probably originating in the Levant in the 2nd millennium BC, the griffin had spread throughout western Asia and into Greece by the 14th century BC. The Asiatic griffin had a crested head, whereas the Minoan and Greek griffin usually had a mane of spiral curls. It was shown either recumbent or seated on its haunches, often paired with the sphinx; its function may have been protective

Learn more about griffon with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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