One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A dog of any of several terrier-like breeds originating in northwestern Europe.
- ‘In France the wirehaired pointing griffon and the Brittany were bred for similar motives, as was the Vizsla in Hungary.’
- 1.1 A dog of a toy breed with a flat face and upturned chin.
- ‘According to the AKC, the oft-maligned Toy group is making a comeback of sorts: The registration list's biggest climbers these days are the Chinese crested and the Brussels griffon.’
- ‘The Brussels griffon seems to have descended from a dog used by 17th-century Belgian peasants to rid their stables of rats.’
2A large Old World vulture with predominantly pale brown plumage.
Genus Gyps, family Accipitridae: four species, in particular the Eurasian G. fulvus and the African Ruppell's griffon (G. ruepelli)
- ‘For birdwatchers, several hundred species call India home, including the rare narcondum hornbill, megapode, and griffon vulture.’
- ‘There is also plenty of birdlife up here, and there are frequent sightings of griffon vultures.’
- ‘When we had the opportunity to add five Cape griffon vultures to the pair we already had, we decided to try them in the large aviary.’
- ‘Dozens of griffon vultures with wingspans of up to 2.80 metres were spotted in the south of the Netherlands on Monday.’
- ‘The griffon vulture is quite common in Crete.’
3variant spelling of griffin
Middle English (in griffon (sense 2)): variant of griffin; griffon (sense 1) was adopted from French in the 18th century.
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