from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A sphinx with the head of a man.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A man sphinx; a sphinx having the head of a man and the body of a lion.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In anc. Egypt. sculp., a man-sphinx; a sphinx having the body of a lion with a human head and masculine attributes, as distinguished from one with the head of a ram (criosphinx), or of a hawk (hieracosphinx). See sphinx.
The Egyptian sphinx -- there were three varieties, this being an 'androsphinx', with the head of a man and the body of a lion -- was viewed beneficently as a GUARDIAN of the paths to important or sacred premises.
The Egyptians, in their ancient wisdom, act in the desert a great androsphinx, image of mystery and silence, staring from under level brows across the arid sands of the sea-way.
Sometimes the androsphinx has human hands in place of the lion's paws.