mammoth

[mam-uh th]
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noun
  1. any large, elephantlike mammal of the extinct genus Mammuthus, from the Pleistocene Epoch, having hairy skin and ridged molar teeth.
adjective
  1. immensely large; huge; enormous: a mammoth organization.

Origin of mammoth

1690–1700; < Russian mam(m)ot (now mámont), first used in reference to remains of the animal found in Siberia; origin uncertain

Synonyms for mammoth

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2. See gigantic.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for mammoth

mammoth

noun
  1. any large extinct elephant of the Pleistocene genus Mammuthus (or Elephas), such as M. primigenius (woolly mammoth), having a hairy coat and long curved tusks
adjective
  1. of gigantic size or importance

Word Origin for mammoth

C18: from Russian mamot, from Tatar mamont, perhaps from mamma earth, because of a belief that the animal made burrows
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 mammoth
n.

1706, from Russian mammot', probably from Ostyak, a Finno-Ugric language of northern Russia (cf. Finnish maa "earth"). Because the remains were dug from the earth, the animal was believed to root like a mole. As an adjective, "gigantic," from 1802; in this sense "the word appears to be originally American" [Thornton, "American Glossary"], and its first uses are in derogatory accounts to the cheese wheel, more than 4 feet in diameter, sent to President Jefferson by the ladies of the Baptist congregation in Cheshire, Mass., as a present, engraved with the motto "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God." Federalist editors mocked the affair, and called up the word mammoth (known from Peale's exhibition) to characterize it.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mammoth in Science

mammoth

[măməth]
  1. Any of various extinct elephants of the genus Mammuthus, having long, upwardly curving tusks and thick hair. Mammoths grew to great size and lived throughout the Northern Hemisphere during the Ice Age.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.