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elephant

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noun el·e·phant \ˈe-lə-fənt\

Simple Definition of elephant

  • : a very large gray animal that has a long, flexible nose and two long tusks

Full Definition of elephant

plural elephants also elephant

  1. 1 :  any of a family (Elephantidae, the elephant family) of thickset usually extremely large nearly hairless herbivorous mammals that have a snout elongated into a muscular trunk and two incisors in the upper jaw developed especially in the male into large ivory tusks and that include two living forms and various extinct relatives: as a :  a tall large-eared mammal (Loxodonta africana) of tropical Africa —called also African elephant b :  a relatively small-eared mammal (Elephas maximus) of forests of southeastern Asia —called also Asian elephant, Indian elephant

  2. 2 :  an animal or fossil related to the elephants

  3. 3 :  one that is uncommonly large or hard to manage

Examples of elephant

  1. <by any standard, the new shopping mall will be an elephant and one that is certain to alter the retail landscape>



Illustration of elephant

Origin of elephant

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French olifant, elefant, from L. elephantus, from Greek elephant-, elephas


First Known Use: 14th century

Other Mammals Terms



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