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gargoyle Syllabification: gar·goyle
Pronunciation: /ˈɡärˌɡoil/

Definition of gargoyle in English:


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.


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).

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