Definition of manticore in US English:



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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Saladin discovers that his fellow inmates have been transformed into beasts - water buffaloes, snakes, manticores.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’


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