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From Old French griffon, from Latin gryphus, from Ancient Greek γρύψ (grúps).



a griffin (1)

griffin (plural griffins)

  1. A mythical beast having the body of a lion and the wings and head of an eagle.
  2. (dated, Anglo-Indian) A person who has just arrived from Europe.
    • 1842, The Asiatic journal and monthly register (volume 38, page 40)
      Tables were laid out in the palace, profusely covered with wines and refreshments, in the European style; old hands and griffins, fair sex and civilians, seemed all determined to enjoy themselves []
    (Can we find and add a quotation of H. Kingsley to this entry?)
  3. A large vulture (Gyps fulvus) found in the mountainous parts of Southern Europe, North Africa, and Asia Minor, supposed to be the "eagle" of the Bible. The bearded griffin is the lammergeier.
  4. An English early apple.