Definition of manticore in English:



  • A mythical animal typically depicted as having the body of a lion, the head of a man, and the sting of a scorpion.

    • ‘One had skulls - apparently from mythical beasts such as unicorns, manticores, and other creatures; while another stand had large wooden pipes, each one trembling slightly.’
    • ‘Instead he pointed at the map and showed me where the tunnel led and, well, it wouldn't be very pleasuring if we got eaten alive by manticores… So we went down the other tunnel and didn't stop.’
    • ‘Perhaps it's the Unicorn's very ability to resist such temptation, that's kept our numbers down, but like the manticore and the chimera I have great reasons to suspect the propriety of some of my ancestors.’
    • ‘Historically, too, medieval mapmakers and geographers filled unknown regions with such beasties: centaurs, mermaids, manticores and Tartary lambs.’
    • ‘Saladin discovers that his fellow inmates have been transformed into beasts - water buffaloes, snakes, manticores.’


Late Middle English: from Old French, via Latin from Greek mantikhōras, corrupt reading in Aristotle for martikhoras, from an Old Persian word meaning ‘maneater’.