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 tigerish (audio) \ adjective
tigerishly adverb
tigerishness noun
tigerlike \ ˈtī-​gər-​ˌlīk How to pronounce tigerlike (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 group said the Moorpark facility has about 50 animals including tigers, leopards, birds of prey and zebras. CBS News, "Tigers injure California woman who raised them since they were cubs," 8 Dec. 2019 Our newsletter has the best concerts, art, shows and more — and the stories behind them An 11-foot tigerThe second-floor decoration is stretched out on the wall with colorful lights lining its borders. Domenica Bongiovanni, Indianapolis Star, "5 things you can't miss when the new Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library opens," 8 Nov. 2019 Japanese, or tiger, puffers (Takifugu rubripes) don’t make their own tetrodotoxin (TTX), but instead accumulate it in their muscles, organs, and skin from TTX-making bacteria in their diet. Jake Buehler, Science | AAAS, "Deadly pufferfish poison relieves stress in deadly pufferfish," 8 Nov. 2019 After Halloween, many of the pumpkins are given to the animals, including tigers, grizzly bears, the polar bear, rhinos and the beef cow, to eat or for enrichment. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Team carves ornate pictures of animals on hundreds of pumpkins spread throughout Milwaukee County Zoo," 18 Oct. 2019 In the new study, published in the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery, the Johns Hopkins researchers examined 100 human skulls and compared them to 70 skulls from dogs, monkeys, rabbits, lions, and tigers. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "The Golden Ratio Is in Your Skull," 7 Oct. 2019 This Shannen Doherty rescues tigers; this Jason Priestley cheats on his wife; and this Ian Ziering owns a workout empire. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "'BH 90210' recap: Welcome to the surreal world," 7 Aug. 2019 By Susan Choi, illustrated by John Rocco (G.P. Putnam, Ages 4 to 9) The late September family camping trip in the mountains is special this year because of a surprise visitor: a tiger that can talk! Christina Barron, Washington Post, "The best children’s books of 2019," 21 Nov. 2019 Charlie's Angels pounces out of the long grass with a viper's speed and a tiger's strength. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to Watch (and Skip) in Theaters and on Netflix This Weekend," 15 Nov. 2019

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

13 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Tiger.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tiger. Accessed 15 December 2019.

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More Definitions for tiger


How to pronounce tiger (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on tiger

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tiger

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tiger

Spanish Central: Translation of tiger

Nglish: Translation of tiger for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tiger for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tiger

Comments on tiger

What made you want to look up tiger? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


delight or enjoyment

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