\ˈge-(ˌ)kō \
plural geckos also geckoes

Definition of gecko 

: any of numerous small chiefly tropical and nocturnal insectivorous lizards (family Gekkonidae)

Illustration of gecko

Illustration of gecko

Examples of gecko in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The prevalence of the third species, a pygmy gecko that looks like a yellow rubber fishing lure, does not appear to have changed much. Geoffrey Giller, Scientific American, "Island Lizards Shift to Evolutionary Fast-Track after Invasive Goats and Rats Are Eradicated," 30 Apr. 2018 Ruth Shuster at Haaretz reports that the data settles a long-simmering debate in reptile evolution, by showing that geckoes split from the common ancestor of all lizards before iguanas. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Oldest Lizard Fossil Shows the Reptiles Are True Survivors," 1 June 2018 And yet scientists know surprisingly little about where all those geckos and vipers and iguanas and pythons came from. Sarah Kaplan,, "Meet the 240-million-year-old 'mother of all lizards'," 30 May 2018 But why a gecko should come to represent an insurance company baffled him, beyond the obvious wordplay, which seemed weak even for advertising and was outdone only by the Aflac Duck. David Gilbert, The New Yorker, "Fungus," 4 June 2017 In this show, a gecko’s sticky toes lead to a super adhesive, edible shelters are grown from trees, and a sculpture mimics a spine., "The Ticket: What’s happening in the local arts world," 25 May 2018 Be sure to keep your eyes open for the flying octopus and gecko. Jen Banowetz, Naperville Sun, "Kite fest returns to Naperville," 24 May 2018 Bobby the leopard gecko can store water and food in his tail, while Chilly the chinchilla has up to 80 hairs in each hair follicle. Sara Cardine,, "Preschoolers see – and hear – critters up close during wildlife visit," 17 May 2018 Plus rabbits, guinea pigs, pigeons, a gecko, several quail and a rooster. Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, "Side trip on Muni: just one stop in puppy’s life," 14 May 2018

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

1774, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gecko

perhaps from Malay dialect geʔkok

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Last Updated

3 Oct 2018

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The first known use of gecko was in 1774

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English Language Learners Definition of gecko

: a small tropical lizard


\ˈge-ˌkō \
plural geckos or geckoes

Kids Definition of gecko

: a small tropical lizard that eats insects and is usually active at night

More from Merriam-Webster on gecko

See words that rhyme with gecko Encyclopedia article about gecko

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