Definition of gargoyle in English:


Syllabification: gar·goyle
Pronunciation: /ˈgärˌgoil


  • A grotesque carved human or animal face or figure projecting from the gutter of a building, typically acting as a spout to carry water clear of a wall.
    More example sentences
    • The ancient Greeks adorned important buildings with gargoyles to throw water away from the foundations.
    • They are irrigated by surface water poured from gargoyles, a torrent that in winter becomes magically frozen.
    • On a Gothic building it was natural to provide gargoyles at cornice level.



More example sentences
  • It has a gargoyled, hexagonal bell-tower, and was started in the 13th century, and rebuilt in the 16th.
  • Walking up from College Street towards the gargoyled doors of University College, one is entitled to feel that this is indeed a venerable institution of higher learning.
  • This is not a world with huge gargoyled monsters or magic.


Middle English: from Old French gargouille 'throat', also 'gargoyle' (because of the water passing through the throat and mouth of the figure); related to Greek gargarizein 'to gargle' (imitating the sounds made in the throat).

More definitions of gargoyle

Definition of gargoyle in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day skosh
Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
a small amount; a little