Definition of gargoyle in English:

Share this entry

gargoyle

Pronunciation: /ˈɡɑːɡɔɪl/

noun

Image of gargoyle
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.
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.

Origin

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).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: gar|goyle

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.