Hippogriff or griffin

Photo of author


Hippogriff and griffin are two words that are similar, but have a slightly different meaning. We will examine the definitions of hippogriff and griffin, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

A hippogriff is a mythical animal consisting of the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a horse. A hippogriff is a product of the union of a male griffin and a female horse. First appearing in Virgil’s Eclogues, the hippogriff was portrayed in Medieval stories as the companions of knights and magicians. They were said to be tamer than griffins, and loyal. The word hippogriff is derived from the Greek word hippos, which means horse, and the Latin gryphus, which means griffin.

A griffin is a mythical animal consisting of the head, wings and front talons of an eagle, and the body of a lion. In Ancient Greece and Rome, griffins were depicted as protectors of gold and treasures. The griffin was considered strong and courageous, and was frequently found in Medieval heraldry. The word griffin is derived from the Latin word gryphus.


To pass their class (and avoid getting eaten), Peter and Harmony must win over a whole herd of quirky creatures, from a hippogriff who communicates through popular dance, to a sassy unicorn testing out her stand-up material, to a lovelorn griffin with a hoarding problem. (The Black Hills Pioneer)

But creating Buckbeack the Hippogriff was hardly magical for the artists who airbrushed thousands of goose and chicken feathers one-by-one before piecing them together with tweezers. (The Daily Mail)

Ms. Boudreau’s own coat of arms features a pair of rainbow-coloured panthers breathing fire. For good measure, the design is topped by a third fire-breathing monster endowed with the “body of a lion, a horse’s head with horns, a griffin’s forelegs and a lion’s hind legs.” (The National Post)