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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use alligator in a sentence
However, the researchers realized that the alligator gar has a series of joints that allow it to expand the skull while closing its jaws.This ancient fish-crocodile mashup snared its prey using a key adaptation | Kate Baggaley | February 3, 2021 | Popular-Science
Ally replied, perhaps too intuitively as a Floridian, “I don’t know anyone who has eaten someone’s face or wrestled an alligator.”Date Lab: Mariah Carey. Alligators. Urology. Is this any way to start a romance? | Damona Hoffman | January 21, 2021 | Washington Post
The scientists wondered how alligator falls fit into a larger food web.
The scientists in Louisiana chose alligators, Dixon says, because these animals have been found recently in both freshwater and saltwater environments.
They prefer living in saltwater and are more aggressive than alligators.
In another study, children saw a puppet show where a mouse was eaten by an alligator.Why Are Millennials Unfriending Organized Religion? | Vlad Chituc | November 9, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
No matter what was on that flag—a white buttercup, a corn muffin, the skeleton of an alligator, who knows?
I changed the beach ball to an inflatable alligator and started writing the story to find out what would happen next.Real Thrills And High Art In A Poignant Page-Turner Of A Novel | Susan Cheever | May 16, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
You can even purchase a “Canned Exotic Meat Gift Set,” which includes rattlesnake, alligator, elk, and buffalo.
He can cry alligator tears, condemn the turncoats, appease the Tea Partiers base and remain speaker.To Be or Not To Be…A Loser: Boehner’s Hamlet Moment | Joe McLean | October 4, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
An alligator was observed swimming about, but very few fish were noticed.
We rowed on, now and then knocking a young alligator on the nose as he popped his ugly head out of the water to have a look at us.In the Wilds of Florida | W.H.G. Kingston
For a long time he had set his heart on catching a cayman, a kind of alligator that is found in the rivers of Guiana.The Animal Story Book | Various
Once a tall crane stalked into view among the sedges; once an unseen alligator shook the silence with his deep, hollow roaring.In Search of the Unknown | Robert W. Chambers
The alligator tried to follow her, but the shaft of the paddle caught among some tree trunks and stuck.The Adventures of Louis de Rougemont | Louis de Rougemont
British Dictionary definitions for alligator
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
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