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[gawr-guh n] /ˈgɔr gən/
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.
(lowercase) a mean, ugly, or repulsive woman.
Origin of Gorgon
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin Gorgōn < Greek Gorgṓ, derivative of gorgós dreadful
Related forms
[gawr-goh-nee-uh n] /gɔrˈgoʊ ni ən/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Gorgon
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As he sped eastward, he heard a voice asking whether he had really killed the Gorgon.

  • The Gorgon stares you out of countenance, and that suffices.

    The Creed of the Old South 1865-1915 Basil L. Gildersleeve
  • She has no beauty; and as for Gorgon, the creature has a look of timid softness in waiting behind her rocky eyes.

  • Nor must we forget that he has run upon a limitation, that Gorgon from whom he fled.

    Homer's Odyssey Denton J. Snider
  • "It looks just as if the Gorgon had stared at them and petrified them with a glance," said Nora.

    The Manor House School Angela Brazil
  • In its surface he could safely look at the reflection of the Gorgon's face.

    The Gorgon's Head Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Many things thou needest, but only against the freezing stare of the Gorgon's face can I guard thee now.

    Museum of Antiquity L. W. Yaggy
  • Hence the Gorgon, one of her consorts, was ordered to go ahead and lead the way.

British Dictionary definitions for Gorgon


(Greek myth) any of three winged monstrous sisters, Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa, who had live snakes for hair, huge teeth, and brazen claws
(often not capital) (informal) a fierce or unpleasant woman
Word Origin
via Latin Gorgō from Greek, from gorgos terrible
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 Gorgon

late 14c., any of the three hideous sisters in Greek legend, whose look turned beholders to stone (Madusa was one of them), from Greek Gorgo (plural Gorgones), from gorgos "terrible," of unknown origin. Transferred sense of "terrifyingly ugly person" is from 1520s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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