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[gey-vee-uh l] /ˈgeɪ vi əl/
a large crocodilian, Gavialis gangeticus, of India and Pakistan, having elongated, garlike jaws: an endangered species.
Also called gharial.
Origin of gavial
1815-25; < French < Hindi ghariyāl
Related forms
gavialoid, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for gavial
Historical Examples
  • In the Ganges of India is found another member of this group of reptiles called the gavial.

  • All at once the disengaged arm made a long clutch forward and grasped the upper jaw of the gavial.

    The Castaways Captain Mayne Reid
  • The gavial is found in Asia—particularly in the Ganges and other Indian rivers, and is the crocodile of those parts.

    The Boy Hunters Captain Mayne Reid
  • The gavial of the Ganges is reported to be a fish-eater only, and is considered harmless to man.

    Mythical Monsters

    Charles Gould
  • Some of the best known varieties are those of the river Nile, the gavial of the Ganges being also among the more familiar species.

  • Alligators are found in most of the rivers, and the gavial is less frequently met with.

British Dictionary definitions for gavial


a large fish-eating Indian crocodilian, Gavialis gangeticus, with a very long slender snout: family Gavialidae
false gavial, a SE Asian crocodile, Tomistoma schlegeli, similar to but smaller than the gavial
Word Origin
C19: from French, from Hindi ghariyāl
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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