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5 definitions found

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Sphinx n.
 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.
 The awful ruins of the days of old . . .
 Or jasper tomb, or mutilated sphinx.   --Shelley.
 (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 Bœotia, is said to have proposed a riddle to the Thebans, and killed those who were unable to guess it. The enigma was solved by Œdipus, whereupon the sphinx slew herself. “Subtle as sphinx.”
 2. Hence: A person of enigmatical character and purposes, especially in politics and diplomacy.
 3. Zool. Any one of numerous species of large moths of the family Sphingidae; -- called also hawk moth.  See also tomato worm.
 Note:The larva is a stout naked caterpillar which, when at rest, often assumes a position suggesting the Egyptian sphinx, whence the name.
 4. Zool. The Guinea, or sphinx, baboon (Cynocephalus sphinx).
 Sphinx baboon Zool., a large West African baboon (Cynocephalus sphinx), often kept in menageries.
 Sphinx moth. Zool. Same as Sphinx, 3.

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Hawk n.  Zool. One of numerous species and genera of rapacious birds of the family Falconidae.  They differ from the true falcons in lacking the prominent tooth and notch of the bill, and in having shorter and less pointed wings.  Many are of large size and grade into the eagles. Some, as the goshawk, were formerly trained like falcons.  In a more general sense the word is not infrequently applied, also, to true falcons, as the sparrow hawk, pigeon hawk, duck hawk, and prairie hawk.
 Note:Among the common American species are the red-tailed hawk (Buteo borealis); the red-shouldered (Buteo lineatus); the broad-winged (Buteo Pennsylvanicus); the rough-legged (Archibuteo lagopus); the sharp-shinned (Accipiter fuscus). See Fishhawk, Goshawk, Marsh hawk, under Marsh, Night hawk, under Night.
 Bee hawk Zool., the honey buzzard.
 Eagle hawk. See under Eagle.
 Hawk eagle Zool., an Asiatic bird of the genus Spizaetus, or Limnaetus, intermediate between the hawks and eagles. There are several species.
 Hawk fly Zool., a voracious fly of the family Asilidae. See Hornet fly, under Hornet.
 Hawk moth. Zool. See Hawk moth, in the Vocabulary.
 Hawk owl. Zool. (a) A northern owl (Surnia ulula) of Europe and America. It flies by day, and in some respects resembles the hawks. (b) An owl of India (Ninox scutellatus).
 Hawk's bill Horology, the pawl for the rack, in the striking mechanism of a clock.

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Hawk moth Zool. Any moth of the family Sphingidae, of which there are numerous genera and species.  They are large, handsome moths with long narrow forewings capable of powerful flight and hovering over flowers to feed.  They fly mostly at twilight and hover about flowers like a humming bird, sucking the honey by means of a long, slender proboscis.  The larvae are large, hairless caterpillars ornamented with green and other bright colors, and often with a caudal spine. See Sphinx, also Tobacco worm, and Tomato worm.
 Syn: -- hawk moth, sphingid, sphinx moth, hummingbird moth.
 Note:The larvae of several species of hawk moths feed on grapevines.  The elm-tree hawk moth is Ceratomia Amyntor.

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Hum·ming, n. A sound like that made by bees; a low, murmuring sound; a hum.
 Hummingale, lively or strong ale. --Dryden.
 Humming-bird moth Zool., a hawk moth. See Hawk moth, under Hawk, the bird.

From: WordNet (r) 2.0

 hawk moth
      n : any of various moths with long narrow forewings capable of
          powerful flight and hovering over flowers to feed [syn: hawkmoth,
           sphingid, sphinx moth, hummingbird moth]