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gargoyle

[gahr-goil] /ˈgɑr gɔɪl/
noun
1.
a grotesquely carved figure of a human or animal.
2.
a spout, terminating in a grotesque representation of a human or animal figure with open mouth, projecting from the gutter of a building for throwing rain water clear of a building.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English gargoile < Old French gargouille, gargoule literally, throat; see gargle
Related forms
gargoyled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for gargoyles
  • Be sure to walk the perimeter to glimpse the flying buttresses that support the structure as well as the famous gargoyles.
  • Both towers are capped by a modified cornice with decorated frieze and gargoyles.
  • Lion's head gargoyles are centered on the wall on each side of bays three and eight.
  • One of the more distinctive features of this building are the gargoyles that embellish the north and west facades.
British Dictionary definitions for gargoyles

gargoyle

/ˈɡɑːɡɔɪl/
noun
1.
a waterspout carved in the form of a grotesque face or creature and projecting from a roof gutter, esp of a Gothic church
2.
any grotesque ornament or projection, esp on a building
3.
a person with a grotesque appearance
Derived Forms
gargoyled, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Old French gargouille gargoyle, throat; see gargle
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 gargoyles

gargoyle

n.

"grotesque carved waterspout," late 13c., gargurl, from Old French gargole "throat, waterspout" (see gargle).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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gargoyles in Culture

gargoyle definition


A sculpture depicting grotesque human shapes or evil spirits used in many buildings of the Middle Ages, most notably on Gothic cathedrals. Some gargoyles drained rainwater, sending it clear of the walls of the building.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Difficulty index for gargoyle

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Word Value for gargoyles

14
16
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