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 450-pound silverback western lowland gorilla is nearly impossible to forget – the internet has made sure of that. Keely Brown, The Enquirer, 28 May 2021 And so Massa stayed in the ape house with another gorilla, Bomo, while a new harem, led by Kidogo, a young silverback from a Danish zoo, occupied the garden. Ben Crair, The New Yorker, 11 May 2021 Massa, the old silverback, had become sterile in his advanced age, and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria wanted Krefeld to keep a reproductive gorilla group. Ben Crair, The New Yorker, 11 May 2021 A few years ago, four female mountain gorillas left home, abandoning not only their mate—a sick alpha silverback—but their infants, which were barely old enough to feed themselves. Ann Gibbons, Science | AAAS, 23 Mar. 2021 Seven gorillas recovered after a mild cases of sniffles, but one elderly silverback had pneumonia, likely caused by the virus, as well as heart disease. Fox News, 19 Mar. 2021 Indeed, some motherless males eventually became the dominant male silverback of their group. Ann Gibbons, Science | AAAS, 23 Mar. 2021 The silverback named Winston had pneumonia, likely caused by the virus, as well as heart disease. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 28 Jan. 2021 The silverback named Winston, had pneumonia, likely caused by the virus, as well as heart disease. Julie Watson, Star Tribune, 26 Jan. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near silverback

silver award


silver-backed fox

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Statistics for silverback

Last Updated

10 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Silverback.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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