ti·​ger | \ ˈtī-gər How to pronounce tiger (audio) \
plural tigers

Definition of tiger

1 plural also tiger
a : a large Asian carnivorous mammal (Panthera tigris) of the cat family having a usually tawny coat transversely striped with black
b : any of several large wildcats (such as the jaguar or cougar)
c : a domestic cat with striped pattern
d Australia : tasmanian tiger
2a : a fierce, daring, or aggressive person or quality aroused the tiger in him a tiger for work
b : someone or something (such as a situation) that is formidable or impossible to control how the tiger of inflation can be tamed— J. A. Davenport often used in the phrases ride a tiger and have a tiger by the tail
3 British : a groom in livery

Illustration of tiger

Illustration of tiger

tiger 1a

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Other Words from tiger

tigerish \ ˈtī-​g(ə-​)rish How to pronounce tiger (audio) \ adjective
tigerishly adverb
tigerishness noun
tigerlike \ ˈtī-​gər-​ˌlīk How to pronounce tiger (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for tiger



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Examples of tiger in a Sentence

He was a tiger on the basketball court. even the best defense can't keep that tiger from scoring
Recent Examples on the Web The Vogue coverstar wore an archival tiger print Robert Cavalli dress from spring 2000, worn by Aaliyah to that year’s MTV Awards. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "The Best Fashion Instagrams of the Week: Dua Lipa, Lenny Kravitz, Paloma Elsesser, and More," 17 Apr. 2021 Aqua blue kitchen cabinets, a pink refrigerator, tiger-print wallpaper, and stair risers swabbed with every color of the rainbow? Sarah Wolf Halverson, Better Homes & Gardens, "Easy DIY Projects and a Rainbow of Color Add Sunny Style to This 1905 Victorian Home," 16 Mar. 2021 Chloe chose a floor length number that included a plunging sweetheart neckline, tiger stripe print and a thigh high leg slit. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "Chloe x Halle Shine in Gold Louis Vuitton Gowns at the 2021 Grammys," 14 Mar. 2021 The first was a Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo, who in April tested positive for coronavirus after showing symptoms of respiratory illness. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "A snow leopard has tested positive for coronavirus, making it the sixth confirmed animal species," 11 Dec. 2020 According to the outlet, the sighting has not been confirmed to be a tiger. Georgia Slater, PEOPLE.com, "Tenn. Wildlife Groups Searching for Mysterious Big Cat After Tiger Sighting in Knoxville," 10 Sep. 2020 Cocos Island, Costa Rica Over 300 miles off the coast of Costa Rica lies Cocos Island, a destination known for its hammerhead shark population, in addition to tiger, Galapagos, and silvertip sharks. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, "7 Amazing Shark Experiences Around the World," 10 Apr. 2021 But the subject of the poem is not a tiger, real or imagined. Jorge Luis Borges, The Atlantic, "The Other Tiger," 31 Jan. 2021 To check that theory, the group filmed a lion, a tiger, a jaguar and an ocelot at the Stone Zoo in Stoneham, Mass., and the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston. John Matson, Scientific American, "Cat Lap: Engineers Unravel the Mystery of How Felines Drink," 11 Nov. 2010

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for tiger

Middle English tigre, from Old English tiger & Anglo-French tigre, both from Latin tigris, from Greek, probably of Iranian origin; akin to Avestan tighra- pointed; akin to Greek stizein to tattoo — more at stick

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Time Traveler for tiger

Time Traveler

The first known use of tiger was before the 12th century

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Statistics for tiger

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tiger.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tiger. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for tiger



English Language Learners Definition of tiger

: a large, wild cat that has a coat of usually yellow or orange fur and black stripes and that lives in Asia
: a striped cat that lives with people
: a person who is very fierce or aggressive


ti·​ger | \ ˈtī-gər How to pronounce tiger (audio) \

Kids Definition of tiger

: a large Asian meat-eating animal of the cat family that is light brown with black stripes

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