cai·​man | \ ˈkā-mən How to pronounce caiman (audio) ; kā-ˈman, kī- \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of caiman

: any of several Central and South American crocodilians (genera Caiman, Melanosuchus, and Paleosuchus) similar to alligators

Examples of caiman in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The dwarf caiman species is the smallest of the alligator family and typically grows to about four feet, according to Animal Diversity Web. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, 28 Apr. 2021 The Guatemalan guerrilla was created at the beginning of the 1960s, in the mountains, by a ghost and a caiman. Eduardo Halfon, The New York Review of Books, 9 Nov. 2020 In fact, this ancient caiman had a bite force of seven tons, more than four times the strongest bite ever measured in the animal kingdom, study author Rodolfo Salas-Gismondi said in an email. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 25 Aug. 2020 The crystal structures in sea turtle and caiman tears were the most distinctive, likely a product of adapting to their aquatic environments. Lauren Kent, CNN, 13 Aug. 2020 That's the word from Georgie, a young, approximately 1-foot-long dwarf caiman that escaped from an outdoor enclosure in Clinton Township at least five days ago. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, 7 July 2020 In an exclusive first look at the trailer for season 2 of NatGeo's Uncharted, the risk-keen chef tucks into some bull riding, caiman hunting, and tarantula grilling all in the name of finding new flavors. Ruth Kinane,, 29 Apr. 2020 Or skim around the waterways and look out for birds, turtles, caimans and other wildlife. New York Times, 14 Apr. 2020 Despite their size, giant bite marks in the shells show that predators, including massive alligator-like caimans, weren't deterred by the animal's huge shield. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 12 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caiman.' 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 caiman

1577, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for caiman

Spanish caimán, probably from Carib caymán

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Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Caiman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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