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. 2023
How to use alligator in a sentence
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 | Olivia Nuzzi | May 19, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
One moment of weakness, and the alligators can eat you alive.
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 | Alex Belth | February 16, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
This is like telling a man wrestling four alligators not to ignore that 30-foot anaconda that just slipped into the pond.
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 | Trevor Butterworth | July 9, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
I have seen more alligators than you can count fingers and thumbs on your little dimpled hands.The Nursery, December 1881, Vol. XXX | Various
"You may be thankful if you don't get those two young alligators in the other tank," said a gruff-voiced adjutant.St. Nicholas, Vol. 5, No. 5, March, 1878 | Various
Sometimes I thought that our voyage would end in our being carried to the bottom to become the food of alligators.In the Wilds of Florida | W.H.G. Kingston
The alligators continued as plentiful as ever; numbers of them lay on the banks, watching us with savage eyes.In the Wilds of Florida | W.H.G. Kingston
Sure enough, there were five or six small alligators at the far end—little fellows not very long out of the shell.Mass' George | George Manville Fenn
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