croc·​o·​dile | \ ˈkrä-kə-ˌdī(-ə)l How to pronounce crocodile (audio) \

Definition of crocodile

1a : any of several large, carnivorous, thick-skinned, long-bodied, aquatic reptiles (family Crocodylidae and especially genus Crocodylus) of tropical and subtropical waters that have a long, tapered, V-shaped snout broadly : crocodilian
b : the skin or hide of a crocodile
2 chiefly British : a line of people (such as schoolchildren) usually walking in pairs

Illustration of crocodile

Illustration of crocodile

crocodile 1a

Examples of crocodile in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One perhaps overzealous physician posthumously diagnosed a Cuban crocodile, a Canary Island monk seal, and a prehistoric German cave bear. Eric Boodman, STAT, 21 Dec. 2021 In addition to the mosasaurs, paleontologists have found fossils here from 9 species of shark, 23 fishes, 9 turtles, 4 dinosaurs including a bird, 1 pterosaur, 1 crocodile, and numerous invertebrate animals. Dennis Pillion |, al, 9 Dec. 2021 To Kipling’s drawing for his kids of a crocodile pulling an elephant’s nose from the Limpopo River. Hedley Twidle, Harper's Magazine, 23 Nov. 2021 Vincent was largely bald and wore short-sleeve shirts resembling those of the U.S. Marines, except that in place of the pocket was a tiny crocodile. David Treuer, Harper's Magazine, 26 Oct. 2021 Walls and handrails are covered in dimpled stingray skin, toilets are wrapped in crocodile and alligator hides, and drawers are decorated with the epidermis of venomous cobras. Howard Walker, Robb Report, 24 Dec. 2021 Irwin celebrated with a pair of amusing snapshots taken by her brother Robert, showing Grace posed in the mouth of a giant crocodile statue at the zoo. Vanessa Etienne,, 6 Dec. 2021 Indulge your wild side on a daily eco boat tour that gently glides through the serpentine canals — a quiet, serene trip, until a turtle or crocodile comes into view, prompting audible, excited gasps from passengers. Alisha Prakash, Travel + Leisure, 30 Nov. 2021 The Wildlife Discovery Center in Lake Forest is the smallest institution where Orinoco crocodile young are being raised. Sheryl Devore,, 24 Nov. 2021

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

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for crocodile

Middle English & Latin; Middle English cocodrille, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin cocodrillus, alteration of Latin crocodilus, from Greek krokodilos lizard, crocodile, from krokē shingle, pebble + drilos worm; akin to Sanskrit śarkara pebble

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The first known use of crocodile was in 1555

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Dictionary Entries Near crocodile



crocodile bird

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Last Updated

14 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Crocodile.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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English Language Learners Definition of crocodile

: a large reptile that has a long body, thick skin, and a long, thin mouth with sharp teeth and that lives in the water in regions with hot weather
: the skin of the crocodile used for making shoes and others products
: a line of people and especially of schoolchildren who are walking in pairs


croc·​o·​dile | \ ˈkrä-kə-ˌdīl How to pronounce crocodile (audio) \

Kids Definition of crocodile

: a reptile that resembles the related alligator but that has a long narrow snout


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