• the Great Sphinx of GÎzeh Partially Uncovered, And the Pyramid of Khephren
    the Great Sphinx of GÎzeh Partially Uncovered, And the Pyramid of Khephren
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n sphinx one of a number of large stone statues with the body of a lion and the head of a man that were built by the ancient Egyptians
    • n Sphinx (Greek mythology) a riddling winged monster with a woman's head and breast on a lion's body; daughter of Typhon
    • n sphinx an inscrutable person who keeps his thoughts and intentions secret
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

KhÛÎt, the Great Pyramid of GÎzeh, The Sphinx, And the Temple of The Sphinx KhÛÎt, the Great Pyramid of GÎzeh, The Sphinx, And the Temple of The Sphinx
Avenue of Sphinxes--karnak Avenue of Sphinxes--karnak
One of the Tanis Sphinxes in The GÎzeh Museum One of the Tanis Sphinxes in The GÎzeh Museum
239. Sphinx 5-maculata, Larva and Pupa 239. Sphinx 5-maculata, Larva and Pupa
The larva of the pen-marked sphinx-moth The larva of the pen-marked sphinx-moth

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The Sphinx ( famous pyramid) was carved from one piece of stone.
    • Sphinx (Zoöl) Any one of numerous species of large moths of the family Sphingidæ; -- called also hawk moth. See also tomato worm.
    • Sphinx Hence: A person of enigmatical character and purposes, especially in politics and diplomacy.
    • Sphinx In Egyptian art, an image of granite or porphyry, having a human head, or the head of a ram or of a hawk, upon the wingless body of a lion.
    • Sphinx On Greek art and mythology, a she-monster, usually represented as having the winged body of a lion, and the face and breast of a young woman.
    • Sphinx (Zoöl) The Guinea, or sphinx, baboon (Cynocephalus sphinx).
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The Sphinx sits on guard over the Great Pyramids.
    • n sphinx In Greek myth, a female monster, said to have proposed a riddle to the Thebans who passed her as she sat on a rock by the roadside, and to have killed all who were not able to guess it. The riddle, according to tradition, inquired what being has successively four, two, and three feet, and is weakest when it has most feet. Œdipus answered, Man, who creeps in infancy, afterward goes erect, and finally walks with a staff (a third foot). The Sphinx, in compliance with her own conditions, thereupon threw herself from her rock and died. In art this monster is represented with the body of a lion or a dog, winged, and the head and often the breasts of a woman.
    • n sphinx In Egyptian antiquity, a figure somewhat similar in composition to the Greek, having the body of a lion (never winged), and a male human head or an animal head. The human-headed figures have been called androsphinxes; those with the head of a ram, criosphinxes; and those with the head of a hawk, hieracosphinxes. Egyptian sphinxes are symbolical figures, having no connection with the Greek fable; and the Greeks probably applied the term sphinx to the Egyptian statues merely on account of the accidental external resemblance between them and their own conception. The Egyptian sphinxes were commonly placed in avenues leading to temples or tombs. The most celebrated example is the Great Sphinx near the great pyramids of Ghizeh, hewn out of solid granite, with the recumbent body of a lion, 146 feet long from the shoulders to the rump, and 56 feet high, and a man's head 28½ feet high from chin to crown. A small temple stood between the fore paws of this sphinx. There are also Oriental sphinxes, in general akin to the Egyptian, but more often winged than wingless. See cut under androsphinx.
    • n sphinx In heraldry, a creature with a lion's body and a woman's head, but not necessarily like any ancient original. It is assumed to be winged; when not winged, it should be blazoned “sans wings.”
    • n sphinx An enigmatic or sphinx-like person; one who talks puzzlingly, or is inscrutable in disposition or character; one whom it is hard to understand.
    • n sphinx In entomology:
    • n sphinx A hawk-moth; a member of the genus Sphinx or the family Sphingidæ. See cuts under hawk-moth, hog-caterpillar. Lepidoptera, and Philampelus.
    • n sphinx The typical genus of the family Sphingidæ. At first it was coextensive with this family; later it formed a group of variable extent; now it is confined to forms having the head small, the eyes lashed, tibiæ spinose, and fore tarsi usually armed with long spines. It is a wide-spread genus; 19 species occur in America north of Mexico. The larvæ of this, as well as of other groups of the family Sphingidæ, have the habit of erecting the head and anterior segments, from which Linnæus derived a fanciful resemblance to the Egyptian Sphinx (whence the name).
    • n sphinx The Guinea baboon, Cynocephalus papio or Papio sphinx. Also called sphinx-bahoon.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Sphinx sfingks a monster of Greek mythology, with the head of a woman and the body of a lioness, that proposed riddles to travellers, and strangled those who could not solve them: an enigmatic or inscrutable person: a hawk-moth: the Guinea baboon.
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L., from Gr. sfi`gx, usually derived from sfi`ggein to bind tight or together, as if the Throttler
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr.,—sphinggein, to throttle.


In literature:

In a distorted form, which can easily be unraveled, this is the same riddle which was given by the Theban Sphinx.
"Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex" by Sigmund Freud
And on his shield he beareth a device, the Sphinx, which holdeth in her claws one of the sons of Cadmus.
"Stories from the Greek Tragedians" by Alfred Church
In repose he looks as if he had set himself to stare the Sphinx out of countenance and not yet had lost heart in the matter.
"Painted Windows" by Harold Begbie
That man am I, who mounted aloft to the victorious heavenly song, having solved the dark enigma of the virgin Sphinx.
"The Tragedies of Euripides, Volume I." by Euripides
The grim switchboard flashed its metallic face in cryptic, sphinx-like immobility.
"Darkwater" by W. E. B. Du Bois
Next morning we examined all carefully, and found two sphinxes and many Egyptian obelisks.
"The Biography of Robert Murray M'Cheyne" by Andrew A. Bonar
She sent him gold, maidens, parrots, sphinxes, and a crown of emeralds and pearls.
"The Negro" by W.E.B. Du Bois
Elizabeth Eliza was anxious to see the Sphinx.
"The Last of the Peterkins" by Lucretia P. Hale
Among the marvels of Egypt perhaps the Sphinx is second to none.
"Ancient Egypt" by George Rawlinson
It was Nature rather, the inscrutable Sphinx, repeating her stale old riddle, the answer to which is Man.
"The Tysons" by May Sinclair

In poetry:

What if Bishop Creighton
Was descended from a Titan?
A man I know called Binks
Is descended from the Sphinx
"Clerihew – Bishop Creighton" by Edmund Clerihew Bentley
I know all about the Sphinx--
I know even what she thinks,
Staring with her stony eyes
Up forever at the skies.
"The Sphinx" by James Whitcomb Riley
Mine was the folly, mine the tears
That wept the ending of my dream,
Love of my boyhood's troubled years,
Gray silent Sphinx beside the stream!
"The Sphinx" by George Sylvester Viereck
The arts are old, old as the stones
From which man carved the sphinx austere.
Deep are the days the old arts bring:
Ten thousand years of yesteryear.
"Mae Marsh, Motion Picture Actress" by Vachel Lindsay
That Sphinx is Russia. Grieving and exulting,
And weeping black and bloody tears enough,
She stares at you, adoring and insulting,
With love that turns to hate, and hate—to love.
"The Scythians" by Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok
Vain question—for the Sphinx-like years are mute,
And will not answer, but this promise seen,
Will ever stand a statue veil'd to shoot
White hands to all the fond what might have been.
"David Gray" by Alexander Anderson

In news:

If you haven't gotten around to buying that tie for dad, maybe you can take him to Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute for the opening of Shadow of the Sphinx on Father's Day.
Sphinx by Oriental Weavers and OW Hospitality to open new Las Vegas showroom.
Sphinx by Oriental Weavers will introduce six new collections and more than 100 new designs during Las Vegas Market, happening July 30-Aug.
Guided by the Sphinx .
Sphinx of PA – The Phantom Diner, Central PA Magazine, March 2010.
The vertical, rounded weathering pattern on the Great Sphinx 's flanks has sparked scientific debate.
Dance Theater of Harlem's first production of " Sphinx ," a ballet that Glen Tetley created in 1977 for American Ballet Theater, is downright splendid.
The Great Sphinx stumps the experts again.
) But that's not the only Sphinx -teaser.
Eli Lilly & Company and the Sphinx Pharmaceuticals Corporation of Durham, N.C.
Settled lawsuits that sought to block Lilly's acquisition of the company, Sphinx said.
Sphinx Is Culprit In Scavenger Hunt.
Sphinx Virtuosi Play Piazzolla and Golijov at Carnegie Hall.

In science:

The SPHINX experiment measured a similar reaction, pC → pKsKLX at 70 GeV (about a factor or 10 lower in beam energy than HERA-B), except that now they detected a coincident KL as a neutral cluster in their calorimeter.
Experimental Search for Pentaquarks
The SPHINX experiment measured, at the same time, the pC → nK +KsX where the neutron was detected in their calorimeter.
Experimental Search for Pentaquarks
We present the program summary and long write-up for Sphinx tt, a new Monte Carlo simulation for transversely polarized nucleonnucleon scattering.
SPHINX TT - Monte Carlo Program for Nucleon-Nucleon Collisions with Transverse Polarization
Sphinx is able to simulate collisions of two longitudinal ly polarized nucleons in the framework of the QCD improved parton model and describes nucleons on twist-2 level .
SPHINX TT - Monte Carlo Program for Nucleon-Nucleon Collisions with Transverse Polarization
For this reason we decided only to cover the scattering of two transversely polarized protons with our program, which we consequently called Sphinx tt.
SPHINX TT - Monte Carlo Program for Nucleon-Nucleon Collisions with Transverse Polarization