Sphinx moth
Sphinx Sphinx, n. [L., from Gr. sfi`gx, usually derived from sfi`ggein to bind tight or together, as if the Throttler.] 1. (a) In Egyptian art, an image of granite or porphyry, having a human head, or the head of a ram or of a hawk, upon the wingless body of a lion. [1913 Webster]

The awful ruins of the days of old . . . Or jasper tomb, or mutilated sphinx. --Shelley. [1913 Webster] (b) On Greek art and mythology, a she-monster, usually represented as having the winged body of a lion, and the face and breast of a young woman.

Note: The most famous Grecian sphinx, that of Thebes in B[oe]otia, is said to have proposed a riddle to the Thebans, and killed those who were unable to guess it. The enigma was solved by [OE]dipus, whereupon the sphinx slew herself. ``Subtle as sphinx.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. Hence: A person of enigmatical character and purposes, especially in politics and diplomacy. [1913 Webster]

3. (Zo["o]l.) Any one of numerous species of large moths of the family {Sphingid[ae]}; -- called also {hawk moth}. See also {tomato worm}. [1913 Webster]

Note: The larva is a stout naked caterpillar which, when at rest, often assumes a position suggesting the Egyptian sphinx, whence the name. [1913 Webster]

4. (Zo["o]l.) The Guinea, or sphinx, baboon ({Cynocephalus sphinx}). [1913 Webster]

{Sphinx baboon} (Zo["o]l.), a large West African baboon ({Cynocephalus sphinx}), often kept in menageries.

{Sphinx moth}. (Zo["o]l.) Same as {Sphinx}, 3. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sphinx (moth) — Sphinx Sphinx ligustri Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia …   Wikipedia

  • sphinx moth — sphinx′ moth n. ent hawk moth • Etymology: 1830–40 …   From formal English to slang

  • sphinx moth — noun any of various moths with long narrow forewings capable of powerful flight and hovering over flowers to feed • Syn: ↑hawkmoth, ↑hawk moth, ↑sphingid, ↑hummingbird moth • Hypernyms: ↑moth • Hyponyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • sphinx moth — noun Date: 1839 hawk moth …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • sphinx moth. — See hawk moth. [1830 40] * * * …   Universalium

  • sphinx moth — /ˈsfɪŋks mɒθ/ (say sfingks moth) noun → hawkmoth …   Australian English dictionary

  • sphinx moth. — See hawk moth. [1830 40] …   Useful english dictionary

  • Fabulous Green Sphinx Moth — Conservation status Endangered (IUCN 3.1) Scientific classification K …   Wikipedia

  • Prairie Sphinx Moth — Taxobox name = Prairie Sphinx Moth status = CR | status system = IUCN2.3 regnum = Animalia phylum = Arthropoda classis = Insecta ordo = Lepidoptera familia = Sphingidae genus = Euproserpinus species = E. wiesti binomial = Euproserpinus wiesti… …   Wikipedia

  • Sphinx — Sphinx, n. [L., from Gr. sfi gx, usually derived from sfi ggein to bind tight or together, as if the Throttler.] 1. (a) In Egyptian art, an image of granite or porphyry, having a human head, or the head of a ram or of a hawk, upon the wingless… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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