from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A hornlike drinking vessel of ancient times, often having a pointed end shaped like an animal or animal's head.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In Greek antiquity, a type of drinking-vase, usually with one handle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A container from which fluids are intended to be drunk, having a base in the form of a head.
  • noun Greek drinking horn


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Greek rhuton, from neuter of rhutos, fluid, liquid; see sreu- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Ancient Greek ῥυτόν (rutón).



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • A drinking vessel used in parts of the ancient world. Most ancient glass rhytons are of the Roman period. They are in the form of a horn, sometimes with the head of an animal at the tip. The tip is perforated, and one drank from it by holding the rhyton above the head and catching the stream of liquid in the mouth.

    November 8, 2007

  • In Persian and Iranian legends, the mighty Gaokerena "ox horn" was a mythic Haoma plant that had healing properties when eaten and juice from its fruit gave the elixir of immortality.

    January 22, 2009

  • The drinking vessel was typically decorated with a goat's head. Since it was not furnished with a flat base, the drinker had to consume the entire contents of the vessel before setting it down.

    February 18, 2010

  • Thanks, hh, for providing the annual comment on this word.

    February 18, 2010

  • Yarb, you ruined it!

    February 18, 2010

  • Ha! Milos, with your pithy comment you ruined my night of Wordniking. Which is worse, ruining an annual Wordnik ritual or ruining my night of Wordniking? Huh? It's a choose-your-own-adventure - i.e. you decide.

    Oh god, I ruined it.

    February 18, 2010

  • I guess there's no hope of recovery at all now. It's ruined forever. By both of us. And we just keep making it worse.


    February 18, 2010

  • I bet y'all pick at your scabs as well.

    February 18, 2010

  • Though Milos ruined the Fibonacci sequence, we can still make the year–comments relation conform with the number of nonisomorphic groupoids with n elements. Only, then we’ll have to post 3330 comments next year . . .

    Edit: And if that doesn’t work out, this sequence might still save us.

    February 18, 2010

  • Mumble mumble 27 mumble

    February 18, 2010