sil·​ver·​back ˈsil-vər-ˌbak How to pronounce silverback (audio)
: 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 Milwaukee County Zoo has a new addition: Azizi, a 20-year-old silverback male western lowland gorilla. Hope Karnopp, Journal Sentinel, 11 June 2024 Two juveniles spun in circles around a bamboo tree as the silverback came over to supervise. Jacqui Gifford, Travel + Leisure, 5 June 2024 Marjorie Harvey During a trip to Rwanda recently, Marjorie appreciated the beauty of the silverback gorillas at the Volcanoes National Park. Victoria Uwumarogie, Essence, 25 May 2024 The hotel facilitates daily treks where guests can catch a glimpse of silverback gorillas and golden monkeys in their natural habitat and encourages the planting of indigenous trees in its garden. Anne Olivia Bauso, Travel + Leisure, 12 May 2024 Azizi, a 20-year-old silverback male western lowland gorilla, arrived at the Milwaukee County Zoo on Jan. 10. Amy Schwabe, Journal Sentinel, 16 Feb. 2024 Moloko is Cleveland’s male silverback gorilla, who has taken a liking to Kayembe, and also leader of Cleveland’s bachelor group. Ella Gonzales, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 22 Mar. 2024 In October, two zookeepers were accidentally trapped in a silverback gorilla's enclosure with the animal. Kelli Bender, Peoplemag, 19 Mar. 2024 Though Koga’s death was sudden, the silverback gorilla had been under veterinary care for heart disease for years. Angel Saunders, Peoplemag, 15 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'silverback.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1963, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of silverback was in 1963

Dictionary Entries Near silverback

Cite this Entry

“Silverback.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on silverback

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!