gorilla

[ guh-ril-uh ]
/ gəˈrɪl ə /

noun

the largest of the anthropoid apes, Gorilla gorilla, terrestrial and vegetarian, of western equatorial Africa and the Kivu highlands, comprising the subspecies G. g. gorilla (western lowland gorilla), G. g. graueri (eastern lowland gorilla), and G. g. beringei (mountain gorilla): now rare.
an ugly, brutish person.
Slang. a hoodlum or thug, especially one who threatens or inflicts violence.

Nearby words

  1. gorgonize,
  2. gorgonzola,
  3. gorham,
  4. gori,
  5. gorica,
  6. gorillagram,
  7. goring,
  8. gorizia,
  9. gork,
  10. gorki

Origin of gorilla

1790–1800; < New Latin < Greek Goríllās (accusative plural) name for the females of a hairy tribe encountered in Hanno's account of his voyage along the coast of Africa (5th century b.c.)

Related formsgo·ril·la·like, adjectivego·ril·li·an, go·ril·line [guh-ril-ahyn, -in] /gəˈrɪl aɪn, -ɪn/, adjectivego·ril·loid, adjective

Can be confusedgorilla guerrilla

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gorilla


British Dictionary definitions for gorilla

gorilla

/ (ɡəˈrɪlə) /

noun

the largest anthropoid ape, Gorilla gorilla, inhabiting the forests of central W Africa. It is stocky and massive, with a short muzzle and coarse dark hair
informal a large, strong, and brutal-looking man
Derived Formsgorilla-like, adjectivegorillian or gorilline (ɡəˈrɪlaɪn), adjectivegorilloid, adjective

Word Origin for gorilla

C19: New Latin, from Greek Gorillai, an African tribe renowned for their hirsute appearance

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

Word Origin and History for gorilla

gorilla

n.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper