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

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 rodeo placed stringent length requirements on the shark category with an 80-inch minimum for tiger, bull and hammerhead sharks and a 60-inch minimum on blacktips. al, 21 July 2022 And unlike that wild weekend in Las Vegas that involved a tooth, a tiger, and a Mike Tyson, in this case, what happens in NYC won’t stay in NYC. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 3 July 2022 Price noted is for a set of 4 (monkey, zebra, tiger, elephant). Brie Gatchalian, Woman's Day, 29 June 2022 This adventure tale has everything: shipwrecks, pirates, a tiger, and one envy-inducing island treehouse. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, 1 June 2022 The tiger, which was put under control by the caretaker, was uninjured, sheriff's officials said. Anthony Cusumano, NBC News, 22 Mar. 2022 Mules and hinnies, born of unions between horse and donkey, are generally sterile; big-cat hybrids such as ligers and tigons—blends between lion and tiger that have been bred in captivity—often end up in very fragile health. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 7 July 2022 The tiger mom of lore but Caribbean born, not the Asian parent. ELLE, 6 July 2022 The maestro made his way through Comerica Park’s noisy, bustling concourse, checked out statues of Al Kaline and other Tiger greats and posed for photos with mascot Paws and the giant tiger out front. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, 3 July 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

28 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tiger.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tiger. Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for tiger


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

More from Merriam-Webster on tiger

Nglish: Translation of tiger for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tiger for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tiger


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