silverback

noun
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 newborn, whose name has yet to be announced, is Lulu’s second surviving baby, and the eleventh for her mate, a 30-year-old silverback named Taz. Maria Pasquini, PEOPLE.com, "'Critically Endangered' Western Lowland Gorilla Gives Birth to Baby at Atlanta Zoo," 26 July 2019 Her team’s analysis revealed that more than 80% of the close associations were between more distantly related—or even unrelated—silverbacks, as dominant male gorillas are called. Virginia Morell, Science | AAAS, "Gorillas have developed humanlike social structure, controversial study suggests," 17 July 2019 The unnamed baby, born to 24-year-old experienced mother Bana and 30-year-old Kwan, the family group’s silverback, came exactly one month after a male, still unnamed, was born to Kwan and Rollie. Steve Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Second gorilla born at Lincoln Park Zoo in a month," 14 June 2019 His arrival also coincides with the death of Pete, a 50-year-old silverback who died Sunday. Hannah Rodriguez, The Seattle Times, "New ape in town: Kwame makes rare alpha-male debut at Woodland Park Zoo," 9 Nov. 2018 Cassius was the troop's silverback, the dominant, breeding male gorilla, the dad. 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 In December, the zoo added Okpara, a silverback male from Franklin Park Zoo in Boston. Robert Rhoden, NOLA.com, "'A sea of dead horses' at Texas ranch: report," 11 Apr. 2018 Among gorillas, fertile females generally mate with one male at a time — the local silverback. Natalie Angier, New York Times, "Secrets of the Y Chromosome," 11 June 2018 For more than a decade, Ramar was the zoo’s dominant male gorilla, known as a silverback. Tony Briscoe, chicagotribune.com, "Ramar, western lowland gorilla who was Brookfield Zoo's oldest animal, dies at 50," 12 Apr. 2018

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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Last Updated

1 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for silverback

The first known use of silverback was in 1963

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More from Merriam-Webster on silverback

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with silverback

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about silverback

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