- a large, venomous lizard, Heloderma suspectum, of the southwestern U.S. and northwestern Mexico, covered with beadlike scales of yellow, orange, and black.
Origin of Gila monster
1875–80, Americanism; after Gila
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for gila monster
The Gila-monster, tarantula, the scorpion and thelyphonus, scolopender and julus occur in some localities in the rainy season.
- a large venomous brightly coloured lizard, Heloderma suspectum, inhabiting deserts of the southwestern US and Mexico and feeding mostly on eggs and small mammals: family Helodermatidae
C19: after the Gila, a river in New Mexico and Arizona
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
Word Origin and History for gila monster
Heloderma suspectum, 1877, American English, from Gila River, which runs through its habitat in Arizona. The river name probably is from an Indian language, but it is unknown now which one, or what the word meant in it.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper