1. 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. The awful ruins of the days of old . . . Or jasper tomb, or mutilated sphinx. (Shelley)
The most famous Grecian sphinx, that of Thebes in Boeotia, is said to have proposed a riddle to the Thebans, and killed those who were unable to guess it. The enigma was solved by oedipus, whereupon the sphinx slew herself. Subtle as sphinx.
(Science: zoology) Sphinx baboon same as Sphinx.
Origin: L, from Gr. Sfigx, usually derived from sfiggein to bind tight or together, as if the Throttler.