al·​li·​ga·​tor | \ ˈa-lə-ˌgā-tər How to pronounce alligator (audio) \

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 There are alligator warnings posted all along Taylor Lake where a 47 year old man was killed by a gator earlier today, after going in the water to look for frisbees. CBS News, 10 June 2022 Hudson said there is no legal alligator hunting in north Alabama. Paul Gattis |, al, 9 June 2022 This park has playgrounds, a rec center, baseball fields, archery, a football field with a gorgeous blue track, and a pond with turtles and an alligator. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, 8 June 2022 Located just outside Houston, Brazos Bend State Park offers visitors a great way to trade in city life for hiking, biking, camping, bird watching or getting a glimpse of the park's enormous reptiles, the American alligator. Gabi De La Rosa, Chron, 8 June 2022 James Achille was the man to capture the alligator before the trapper's arrival on-scene, the outlet reported. Abigail Adams,, 8 June 2022 The materials—alligator and gold, velvet and embroidered calfskin—echoed the luxe environs, reframing black and white as a foundational color story worthy of the red carpet. Sean Santiago, ELLE Decor, 8 June 2022 Whose gator:Is an alligator lurking in a pond at this Kentucky park? Rae Johnson, The Courier-Journal, 8 June 2022 Earlier this week, officers with the Midland County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call about a small American alligator that was found under a car in an RV park. Fox News, 3 June 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for alligator

Time Traveler

The first known use of alligator was in 1591

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Dictionary Entries Near alligator



alligator apple

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Statistics for alligator

Last Updated

14 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Alligator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for alligator


al·​li·​ga·​tor | \ ˈa-lə-ˌgā-tər How to pronounce alligator (audio) \

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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