alligator

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noun al·li·ga·tor \ˈa-lə-ˌgā-tər\

Definition of alligator

  1. 1 a :  either of two crocodilians (Alligator mississippiensis of the southeastern United States and A. sinensis of China) having broad heads not tapering to the snout and a special pocket in the upper jaw for reception of the enlarged lower fourth tooth b :  crocodilian

  2. 2 :  leather made from alligator hide

Illustration of alligator

Origin and Etymology of 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


First Known Use: 1579


ALLIGATOR Defined for English Language Learners

alligator

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noun al·li·ga·tor \ˈa-lə-ˌgā-tər\

Definition of alligator for English Language Learners

  • : 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


ALLIGATOR Defined for Kids

alligator

play
noun al·li·ga·tor \ˈa-lə-ˌgā-tər\

Definition of alligator for Students

  1. :  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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