al·li·ga·tor | \ ˈa-lə-ˌgā-tər \

Definition of alligator 

1 : either of two large carnivorous, thick-skinned, long-bodied, aquatic, crocodilian reptiles (Alligator mississippiensis of the southeastern U.S. and A. sinensis of China) that have a broad head with a slightly tapered, long, rounded, U-shaped snout and a special pocket in the upper jaw for reception of the enlarged lower fourth tooth broadly : crocodilian

2 : leather made from alligator hide

Illustration of alligator

Illustration of alligator

alligator 1

Examples of alligator in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Wildlife trappers are still searching for the alligator in Lawne Lake, which is in Barnett Park off West Colonial Drive, FWC spokesman Chad Weber said. Michael Williams,, "Nesting gator bit man in Barnett Park, FWC confirms," 13 July 2018 South Florida is the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles live alongside each other. Indianapolis Star, "Alligator made home in Indiana pond," 11 July 2018 Her aim is to rebrand and re-image alligators and crocodiles. Marco Santana,, "PODCAST: Gatorland's swamp girl Savannah Boan (Ep. 37)," 11 July 2018 Madison Blue Springs Lee, Florida Northern Florida is home to some of the country’s finest springs, where manatees, turtles, birds, and alligators cruise the glassy, slow-moving waterways. Brent Crane, Outside Online, "America's Best Swimming Holes," 1 July 2018 Hands-on activities include a fossil dig, learning about Hawaiian shark-tooth weapons and feeding sharks, alligators and stingrays at the facility at 142 S. Ocean Blvd, which is closed Mondays. Doreen Christensen,, "12 ideas for free and cheap summer fun | Doreen's Deals," 8 June 2018 Police say the crocodile, alligators and a rattlesnake were transferred to the Maryland Reptile Conservation in Dickerson. Fox News, "Man pleads guilty to illegal possession of venomous snakes," 14 May 2018 The lake where the accident took place is known to be swarming with alligators and snakes. Peter Martinez, CBS News, "Officers rescue woman from SUV sinking in gator-infested lake," 7 May 2018 Her arm was later recovered from inside an alligator. NBC News, "Florida deputy shoots alligator to save 15-year-old girl stuck in tree," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alligator.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of alligator

1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for alligator

Spanish el lagarto the lizard, from el the (from Latin ille that) + lagarto lizard, from Vulgar Latin *lacartus, from Latin lacertus, lacerta — more at lizard

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Statistics for alligator

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for alligator

The first known use of alligator was in 1591

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English Language Learners Definition of alligator

: a large reptile that has a long body, thick skin, and sharp teeth, that lives in the tropical parts of the U.S. and China, and that is related to crocodiles

: the skin of an alligator used for making shoes and other products


al·li·ga·tor | \ ˈa-lə-ˌgā-tər \

Kids Definition of alligator

: a large short-legged reptile that has a long body, thick skin, a long broad snout, and sharp teeth and is related to the crocodile and lizards

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Comments on alligator

What made you want to look up alligator? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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