ti·​ger ˈtī-gər How to pronounce tiger (audio)
plural tigers
plural also tiger
: a large Asian carnivorous mammal (Panthera tigris) of the cat family having a usually tawny coat transversely striped with black
: any of several large wildcats (such as the jaguar or cougar)
: a domestic cat with striped pattern
Australia : tasmanian tiger
: a fierce, daring, or aggressive person or quality
aroused the tiger in him
a tiger for work
: someone or something (such as a situation) that is formidable or impossible to control
how the tiger of inflation can be tamedJ. A. Davenport
often used in the phrases ride a tiger and have a tiger by the tail
British : a groom in livery
tigerish adjective
tigerishly adverb
tigerishness noun
tigerlike adjective

Illustration of tiger

Illustration of tiger
  • tiger 1a

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 tiger snakes of Perth have heavy metals in their livers. Rafil Kroll-Zaidi, Harper's Magazine, 22 Nov. 2023 Featuring 24 gemstones, including amethyst, quartz, tiger’s eye, and Dalmatian jasper, this advent calendar is an interactive way to start your very own crystal collection. Jessie Quinn, Peoplemag, 18 Nov. 2023 The bacterium had previously been found in tiger and lion bite wounds in humans, a chipmunk and healthy captive parrots, according to the study. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Nov. 2023 The red-roomed supper club's pianist was joined by the band, where ringmasters, cotton candy vendors, caged plush tigers, models on stilt walkers, balloon-animal artists, and plate-spinning clowns reveled into the wee hours. Vogue, 28 Oct. 2023 Originally worn on the runway by Kate Moss, the look was styled for the show with a matching tiger print fedora and raffia top handle bag. Hannah Jackson, Vogue, 6 Nov. 2023 Leopards, tigers and wolves are frequent antagonists in regional folklore. Athena Aktipis, Scientific American, 1 Nov. 2023 Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel and their son embarked on an adventure through their town dressed as the cutest (oversized) creatures from the singer's DreamWorks film on Halloween in 2020. 37 of 51 Kim Kardashian's Tiger King Costume No lions or bears, just tigers... Skyler Caruso, Peoplemag, 30 Oct. 2023 The clip jumps between party clips and each of the rappers as kids on dates: Lil Baby takes a girl out for juice, nuggets, and fries, Future surprises his girl with a pet tiger, and Lil Uzi trims a hedge into a dog shape. Tomás Mier, Rolling Stone, 4 Oct. 2023 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near tiger

Cite this Entry

“Tiger.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tiger. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


ti·​ger ˈtī-gər How to pronounce tiger (audio)
plural tigers also tiger
: a large Asian flesh-eating mammal of the same family as the domestic cat with a coat that is typically light brown to orange with mostly vertical black stripes
: any of several large wildcats (as the jaguar or cougar)
: a domestic cat with a striped coat

More from Merriam-Webster on tiger

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