[gey-vee-uh l]


a large crocodilian, Gavialis gangeticus, of India and Pakistan, having elongated, garlike jaws: an endangered species.

Origin of gavial

1815–25; < French < Hindi ghariyāl
Also called gharial.
Related formsga·vi·al·oid, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gavial

Historical Examples of gavial

  • In the Ganges of India is found another member of this group of reptiles called the gavial.

  • All at once the disengaged arm made a long clutch forward and grasped the upper jaw of the gavial.

    The Castaways

    Captain Mayne Reid

  • The gavial is found in Asia—particularly in the Ganges and other Indian rivers, and is the crocodile of those parts.

    The Boy Hunters

    Captain Mayne Reid

  • The gavial of the Ganges is reported to be a fish-eater only, and is considered harmless to man.

    Mythical Monsters

    Charles Gould

  • Some of the best known varieties are those of the river Nile, the Gavial of the Ganges being also among the more familiar species.

British Dictionary definitions for gavial


gharial or garial (ˈɡærɪəl)


a large fish-eating Indian crocodilian, Gavialis gangeticus, with a very long slender snout: family Gavialidae
false gavial a SE Asian crocodile, Tomistoma schlegeli, similar to but smaller than the gavial

Word Origin for gavial

C19: from French, from Hindi ghariyāl
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