Definition of gargoyle in English:

gargoyle

noun

  • 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.

    • ‘These descend to gargoyles which drain onto chains down the column face to gullies at the bottom.’
    • ‘It was said of the stonemasons who made those never-to-be-seen gargoyles that they carved for the eye of God.’
    • ‘It was a tall, grand old building of stone and steel, with ornate windows and gargoyles leering down at her from the ramparts.’
    • ‘They are irrigated by surface water poured from gargoyles, a torrent that in winter becomes magically frozen.’
    • ‘The worst of the attack seemed to be over, but there was a clear sign that the gargoyles had not yet finished.’
    • ‘A balustrade emphasized by gargoyles encircled each of the three steps.’
    • ‘Lucy thought it very ironic that gargoyles were supposed to be ugly to serve their purpose, but whenever she saw one she considered it adorable.’
    • ‘A towering castle of mud has screaming faces and gargoyles sculpted into its crenellated turrets.’
    • ‘The synagogue is renowned for its bright white exterior and lion-headed gargoyles, which are unusual because animal forms are rarely used in Jewish art.’
    • ‘For them, skulls, gargoyles, devils, and gothic knickknacks are part of the decoration.’
    • ‘The ancient Greeks adorned important buildings with gargoyles to throw water away from the foundations.’
    • ‘Partially destroyed statues of giant gargoyles were scattered around the wrecked houses.’
    • ‘They all seemed to blend modern and ancient architecture, with ornaments ranging from statues of Chinese dragons to Gothic gargoyles.’
    • ‘The building had marvelously designed statues of gargoyles, angels and some other demon looking like creatures.’
    • ‘On a Gothic building it was natural to provide gargoyles at cornice level.’
    • ‘It's jutting out from the corner of the roof, so it could conceivably be a gargoyle proper or a grotesque.’
    • ‘Squat and few in number to begin with, by the thirteenth century gargoyles became more numerous and had developed the projecting form characteristic of gothic cathedrals.’
    • ‘In my case I have a small gargoyle figurine that I purchased from the Chicago Institute of Architecture.’
    • ‘What could go better with a medieval unit than gargoyles?’
    • ‘The advertisement, featuring gargoyles superimposed on top of York Minster, was due to be shown on Yorkshire and Tyne Tees tonight and will be aired throughout the week.’

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).

Pronunciation

gargoyle

/ˈɡɑːɡɔɪl/