also hippogryph, 1650s, from French hippogriffe (16c.), from Italian ippogrifo, from Greek hippos "horse" (from PIE root *ekwo- "horse") + Italian grifo, from Late Latin gryphus "griffin" (see griffin). A creature part griffin, but with body and hind parts in the form of a horse. "[A]pparently invented, in imitation of Pegasus, by the romancers of the middle ages, and furnished to their heroes as a means of transportation through the air" [Century Dictionary].
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