Definition of rhyton in US English:



  • A type of drinking vessel used in ancient Greece, typically having the form of an animal's head or a horn, with the hole for drinking at the bottom.

    • ‘Besides the wide mouth through which the vessels - called rhyta - were filled, they also had tiny holes near their bases.’
    • ‘A conical rhyton from the cemetery at Kameiros on Rhodes is even less easily understood.’
    • ‘A rhyton is a drinking vessel typically taking a horned animal shape in a metonymous gesture to its function as an elaborate drinking horn.’
    • ‘This empire's wealth and grandeur is manifested in the quality and range of jewellery, metalwork and seal stones; the filigree and inlay designs on the jewellery and the rhytons (drinking vessels) stand out.’
    • ‘A similar inference can be drawn at Mallia, house Za, where the furniture of ceremonial hall 5, together with finds from the nearby storerooms, permits one to associate a single stone rhyton with hundreds of conical cups.’


From Greek rhuton, neuter of rhutos ‘flowing’; related to rhein ‘to flow’.