- 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 alligators
Louisiana needs a senator who will stand up to the career politicians, and the alligators.7 WTF Campaign Ads You Can’t Unsee, From Castrators to Alligator Wrestlers
May 19, 2014
One moment of weakness, and the alligators can eat you alive.Palin Backs Alligator Taming Senate Candidate
May 8, 2014
I understand that in the Everglades, there are alligators with little Jews on their shirt pockets.Mel Brooks Is Always Funny and Often Wise in This 1975 Playboy Interview
February 16, 2014
This is like telling a man wrestling four alligators not to ignore that 30-foot anaconda that just slipped into the pond.Will Boehner Play Ball on Syria?
August 30, 2013
People swim into pool walls, people swim into each other, and, in certain parts of the U.S., people swim into alligators.Fireworks, Lightning, Riding Lawnmowers and Other Summer Menaces
July 9, 2013
It receives some brooks, and abounds in excellent fish, and in alligators.The History of Louisiana
Le Page Du Pratz
We pushed and rolled him into the creek, and left the rest to the alligators.Victory
The Crocodiles and Alligators belong to that order of reptiles known as Crocodilia.Pathfinder
Alligators were pretty scarce this trip, for some reason or other.A Jolly Fellowship
Frank R. Stockton
But whether he could save her from the alligators she was not quite so certain.Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue in the Sunny South
Laura Lee Hope
- 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 alligators
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.