noun \gə-ˈri-lə\

: a type of very large ape that has black fur and that comes from Africa

: a large, strong, and usually ugly or frightening man

Full Definition of GORILLA

:  a very large typically black-colored anthropoid ape (Gorilla gorilla) of equatorial Africa that has a stocky body with broad shoulders and long arms and is less erect and has smaller ears than the chimpanzee
a :  an ugly or brutal man
b :  thug, goon

Examples of GORILLA

  1. She hired some gorilla as her bodyguard.
  2. <the loan shark sent a couple of gorillas to convince him to pay up>

Origin of GORILLA

New Latin, from Greek Gorillai, plural, a tribe of hairy women mentioned in an account of a voyage around Africa
First Known Use: 1847


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Male gorilla (Gorilla gorilla).—Kenneth W. Fink/Root Resources

Largest of the great apes. A stocky, powerful forest dweller native to equatorial Africa, the gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) has black skin and hair, large nostrils, and prominent brow ridges. Adults have long, powerful arms; short, stocky legs; an extremely thick, strong chest; and a protruding abdomen. Adult males have a prominent crest on top of the skull and a “saddle” of gray or silver hairs on the lower part of the back. Males, about twice as heavy as females, may reach a height of about 5.5 ft (1.7 m) and a weight of 300–600 lbs (135–275 kg). Gorillas are mainly terrestrial, walking about on all four limbs. They live in stable family groups of six to 20 animals that are led by one or two silverbacked males. They eat leaves, stalks, and shoots. They are unaggressive and even shy unless provoked. They are calmer and more persistent than chimpanzees; though not as adaptable, gorillas are highly intelligent and capable of problem solving. The gorilla is hunted for its body parts and meat, and its habitat is disappearing. It is an endangered species throughout its range; the mountain subspecies is critically endangered.


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