go·ril·la | \gə-ˈri-lə \

Definition of gorilla 

1 : a very large typically black-colored anthropoid ape (Gorilla gorilla) of equatorial Africa that has a stocky body with broad shoulders and long arms and is less erect and has smaller ears than the chimpanzee

2a : an ugly or brutal man

b : thug, goon

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Examples of gorilla in a Sentence

She hired some gorilla as her bodyguard. the loan shark sent a couple of gorillas to “convince” him to pay up

Recent Examples on the Web

Staff from the Bel Air High School art department volunteered in early June to repaint the camel, gorilla and turtle as part of the improvements to Shamrock Park. The Aegis, "Pavilion installed at Shamrock Park, equipment improved," 13 July 2018 Taking the first step toward this gorilla was tough. Jeanne Houck, Cincinnati.com, "Mount Adams teacher rowing to England facing 'gorilla' of an ocean storm," 13 July 2018 That gorillas lack syntax should not blind humans to their magnificence. The Economist, "What Koko the gorilla could and couldn’t do," 5 July 2018 The Columbus zoo has successfully raised 15 gorillas through surrogacy. Lainey Seyler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Keepers at Milwaukee County Zoo worked 24/7 to care for baby gorilla after its parents died," 29 June 2018 While Hammond might seem a bit out there as a concept, there is precedence in Overwatch’s lore for technologically advanced, hyper-intelligent animals — one only need to look at Winston, a giant gorilla who is a cornerstone of the Overwatch brand. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Overwatch’s next hero is Wrecking Ball, a superintelligent hamster in a giant, rolling mech suit," 28 June 2018 Over the last five decades, Koko captured the world’s imagination: a gorilla able to understand more than 2,000 words of spoken English and to respond in American Sign Language. latimes.com, "Today: Blurred Lines at the Border," 22 June 2018 Research and work with Koko, and other gorillas, has revealed that great apes have language skills similar to small children. National Geographic, "Why Koko the Gorilla Mattered," 21 June 2018 Koko, a beloved gorilla that learned to communicate with humans and then stole their hearts, has died. Author: Lindsey Bever, Anchorage Daily News, "Koko, the beloved gorilla that learned to use sign language, has died," 21 June 2018

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

1832, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gorilla

New Latin, from Greek Gorillai, plural, a tribe of hairy women mentioned in an account of a voyage around Africa

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Statistics for gorilla

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gorilla

The first known use of gorilla was in 1832

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Financial Definition of gorilla

What It Is

A gorilla is a company that controls most of the market for a product or service.

How It Works

For example, in the 1990s, Microsoft was a gorilla in the market for operating systems. Sure, there were  competitors, but they were very small, had tiny market shares, and avoided taking Microsoft on directly. Microsoft had billions to invest in marketing and innovation, and could easily undercut, out-distribute, and outsell these tiny competitors. As the saying goes, an 800-pound gorilla does whatever it wants.

Why It Matters

A gorilla's huge size means that competitors must carefully consider the gorilla's potential reactions to certain business decisions. Many gorillas have a shot at monopolizing the market. However, federal antitrust laws, most notably the Sherman Act, make collusive activity and monopolistic behavior illegal in the United States. There is, however, still an incentive to compete with a gorilla. After all, an undetected price cut (or increase in production) will attract customers who are buying from the gorilla and customers who are not buying the product at all. Price adjustments may be subtle, including better credit terms, faster delivery or related free services.

Gorillas are most effective when the demand for the gorilla's product is not very affected by price. This is why gorillas are more effective in the short term; over the long term, prices often become elastic as consumers find cheaper substitutes for the product.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of gorilla

: a type of very large ape that has black fur and that comes from Africa

: a large, strong, and usually ugly or frightening man


go·ril·la | \gə-ˈri-lə \

Kids Definition of gorilla

: a very large ape of the forests of central Africa that lives mostly on the ground

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