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

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 In 2018 a family came upon a 3-foot dwarf caiman while walking their dog in Lexington. Ana Rocío Álvarez Bríñez, The Courier-Journal, 2 June 2022 The zoo did not say in the post if the reptile was an alligator, crocodile, or caiman. David Aaro, Fox News, 23 Feb. 2022 Despite the hazards, the Pororoca is popular with surfers, who don’t mind sharing a wave with a caiman or a piranha. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Feb. 2022 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 See More

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.

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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Cite this Entry

“Caiman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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