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 Maui's deep offshore reefs are ideal places for tiger sharks to mate, pup and feed. Kathleen Wong, USA TODAY, 8 Sep. 2022 Goldstein and the group with him spotted four cubs with the adult female tiger. People Staff, PEOPLE.com, 4 May 2022 The December incident at the Naples Zoo ended with the Malayan tiger named Eko being fatally shot by a deputy. NBC News, 5 Feb. 2022 Last week, to celebrate new year in Japan, a special AirTag with a tiger on it was released. David Phelan, Forbes, 3 Jan. 2022 Investment firm Alger just released a new report that spotlights self-defeating investor biases, such as equating a modern-day market fall with a saber-tooth tiger. Larry Light, Fortune, 14 Oct. 2021 The Asiatown space is decorated with tiger props, allowing for guests to capture the perfect hand-holding-drink photo for social media. Megha Mcswain, Chron, 26 Aug. 2022 The incident with the tiger painting – which Nesvisky estimates was about two feet by three feet in size – happened in the summer of 2021. Andrea Marks, Rolling Stone, 26 Aug. 2022 As an animal lover and volunteer at the zoo, there’s a memorial plaque of Naomi over the tiger exhibit to this day. Joe Mario Pedersen, Orlando Sentinel, 24 Aug. 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

14 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tiger.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tiger. Accessed 27 Sep. 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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