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.
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).
Definition of gargoyle in:
- The US English dictionary