sil·​ver·​back | \ ˈsil-vər-ˌbak How to pronounce silverback (audio) \

Definition of silverback

: an older adult usually dominant male gorilla having gray or whitish hair on the back

Examples of silverback in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The silverback was the dominant male in the group that also included three blackbacks or younger mature males, eight adult females, two juveniles and three infants. Samson Ntale, CNN, "The poacher who killed the rare silverback gorilla Rafiki is jailed for 11 years," 30 July 2020 Yet lions, giraffes, and even one silverback gorilla have been recent casualties. Steve Winter, National Geographic, "Pandemic-induced poaching surges in Uganda," 9 July 2020 This pregnancy is the result of successful breeding between Tumani and Okpara, a 26-year-old silverback gorilla. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Audubon Zoo Expecting First Critically Endangered Gorilla Baby in 24 Years," 6 July 2020 One of Uganda’s rare mountain gorillas, a popular silverback called Rafiki, has been killed by poachers. Fox News, "Popular Uganda mountain gorilla Rafiki killed by poachers," 13 June 2020 The silverback was the dominant male in the group that also included three blackbacks or younger mature males, eight adult females, two juveniles and three infants, according to the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "Four poachers arrested in connection with the death of rare silverback gorilla Rafiki," 13 June 2020 The silverback smelled the smoke from our fire and began roaring and retching to intimidate us. Jerome Lewis, Scientific American, "How Sustainable Development Ravaged the Congo Basin," 26 Apr. 2020 The male silverback had grabbed and dragged a small boy who had fallen into the gorilla enclosure, and fearing for the boy’s safety, zoo workers shot and killed the gorilla. The Enquirer,, "2010-2019: Greater Cincinnati stories of the decade," 30 Dec. 2019 In late September, Anker and Tate sent me a selfie video: two silverbacks on a ridge during a golden-hour hike. Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, "Survivor’s Guilt in the Mountains," 24 Feb. 2020

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

1963, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of silverback was in 1963

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Last Updated

2 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Silverback.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on silverback

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with silverback Encyclopedia article about silverback

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