Classical Mythology. any of three sister monsters commonly represented as having snakes for hair, wings, brazen claws, and eyes that turned anyone looking into them to stone. Medusa, the only mortal Gorgon, was beheaded by Perseus.
late 14c., any of the three hideous sisters in Gk. legend, whose look turned beholders to stone (Madusa was one of them), from Gk. Gorgo (pl. Gorgones), from gorgos "terrible." Transferred sense of "terrifyingly ugly person" is from 1520s.