elephant

play
noun, often attributive el·e·phant \ˈe-lə-fənt\

Definition of elephant

plural

elephants

also

elephant

  1. 1a :  a thickset, usually extremely large, nearly hairless, herbivorous mammal (family Elephantidae, the elephant family) that has a snout elongated into a muscular trunk and two incisors in the upper jaw developed especially in the male into long ivory tusks: (1) :  a tall, large-eared mammal (Loxodonta africana) of tropical Africa that is sometimes considered to comprise two separate species (L. africana of sub-Saharan savannas and L. cyclotis of central and western rain forests) —called also African elephant (2) :  a relatively small-eared mammal (Elephas maximus) of forests of southeastern Asia —called also Asian elephant, Indian elephantb :  any of various extinct relatives of the elephant — see mammoth, mastodon

  2. 2 :  one that is uncommonly large or hard to manage

Examples of elephant in a sentence

  1. <by any standard, the new shopping mall will be an elephant and one that is certain to alter the retail landscape>

Illustration of elephant

Origin and Etymology of elephant

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French olifant, elefant, from L. elephantus, from Greek elephant-, elephas


First Known Use: 14th century

Other Mammals Terms


ELEPHANT Defined for English Language Learners

elephant

play
noun, often attributive el·e·phant \ˈe-lə-fənt\

Definition of elephant for English Language Learners

  • : a very large gray animal that has a long, flexible nose and two long tusks


ELEPHANT Defined for Kids

elephant

play
noun el·e·phant \ˈe-lə-fənt\

Definition of elephant for Students

  1. :  a huge typically gray mammal of Africa or Asia with the nose drawn out into a long trunk and two large curved tusks



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