- either of two broad-snouted crocodilians of the genus Alligator, of the southeastern U.S. and eastern China.
- (loosely) any broad-snouted crocodilian, as a caiman.
- Metallurgy. a machine for bringing the balls of iron from a puddling furnace into compact form so that they can be handled.
- Jazz. an enthusiastic fan of swing.
- (of paint, varnish, or the like) to crack and acquire the appearance of alligator hide, as from weathering or improper application to a surface.
- Metalworking. (of a rolled metal slab) to split and curl up and down at one end; fishmouth.
Origin of alligator
Examples from the Web for alligator
In another study, children saw a puppet show where a mouse was eaten by an alligator.Why Are Millennials Unfriending Organized Religion?
November 9, 2014
No matter what was on that flag—a white buttercup, a corn muffin, the skeleton of an alligator, who knows?We've Got Bigger Problems Than a Confederate Flag
August 28, 2014
You can even purchase a “Canned Exotic Meat Gift Set,” which includes rattlesnake, alligator, elk, and buffalo.Camel in a Can and 6 More Weird Canned Meats
January 5, 2014
Consider one bold, green dress with a voluminous skirt that shimmered with what looked like the green scales of an alligator.Bottega Veneta Spring/Summer 2014: Palazzo Fashion
September 21, 2013
Vali sings while playing with an alligator on a pink swing set, hustling at a lemonade stand and dancing with shadowy creatures.Miley Cyrus, Arcade Fire & More Best Music Videos of the Week (VIDEO)
September 15, 2013
From the notches on his back the alligator is called a sawrian.The Devil's Dictionary
Along its back, was a ridge of horns, like spines, and higher than an alligator's.Welsh Fairy Tales
William Elliott Griffis
What have you got in that alligator, Sheriff, that you're so careful not to set it down and forget it?The Duke Of Chimney Butte
G. W. Ogden
The Alligator of Florida and of Louisiana delights in this chase.The Industries of Animals
Well, this poor thing couldn't tell between a real sin and an alligator.The O'Ruddy
- a large crocodilian, Alligator mississipiensis, of the southern US, having powerful jaws and sharp teeth and differing from the crocodiles in having a shorter and broader snout: family Alligatoridae (alligators and caymans)
- a similar but smaller species, A. sinensis, occurring in China near the Yangtse River
- any crocodilian belonging to the family Alligatoridae
- any of various tools or machines having adjustable toothed jaws, used for gripping, crushing, or compacting
Word Origin and History for alligator
1560s, lagarto (modern form attested from 1620s, with excrescent -r as in tater, feller, etc.), a corruption of Spanish el lagarto (de Indias) "the lizard (of the Indies)," from Latin lacertus (see lizard). Alligarter was an early variant. The slang meaning "non-playing devotee of swing music" is attested from 1936; the phrase see you later, alligator is from a 1956 song title.