- a massive, elephantlike mammal of the genus Mammut (Mastodon), that flourished worldwide from the Miocene through the Pleistocene epochs and, in North America, into recent times, having long, curved upper tusks and, in the male, short lower tusks.
- a person of immense size, power, influence, etc.
Origin of mastodon
Examples from the Web for mastodon
It has already abandoned the mastodon Arctic Shtokman field.Hydraulic Fracking's Putting the Screws to Vladimir and Friends
September 28, 2012
"I had come up from the lower hills all one day," said the Mastodon.
All the Indians in the group that had gathered about the Mastodon, nodded at this.
The Mastodon rocked to and fro on his huge feet, embarrassedly.
Its staff was mastodon ivory, the paleontologists had determined.Zero Data
No mastodon steak for them, Dolly; no nice wing-bone of ictiosaurus—they starved.The Trimming of Goosie
- any extinct elephant-like proboscidean mammal of the genus Mammut (or Mastodon), common in Pliocene times
Word Origin and History for mastodon
1813, from Modern Latin genus name Mastodon (1806), coined by French naturalist Georges Léopole Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert, Baron Cuvier (1769-1832) from Greek mastos "breast" (see masto-) + -odon "tooth" (see tooth); so called from the nipple-like projections on the crowns of the extinct mammal's fossil molars. Related: Mastodontic.
- Any of several extinct mammals of the genus Mastodon (or Mammut). Mastodons resembled elephants and mammoths except that their molar teeth had conelike cusps rather than parallel ridges for grinding. Like elephants, mastodons had a pair of long, curved tusks growing from their upper jaw, but males also sometimes had a second pair from the lower jaw. Like mammoths, mastodons were covered with hair. They lived from the Oligocene Epoch to the end of the Ice Age.