The Alternative English Dictionary: alligator

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Entry definition

alligator {{wikipedia}}
etymology 1 From early Modern English alligater, alligarta, aligarto, alegarto, alagarto, from Spanish el lagarto ("the lizard"), from Latin lacertus, modern spelling possibly influenced by the unrelated Latin alligator pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈælɪɡeɪtə/
  • (US) {{enPR}}, /ˈælɪɡeɪtɚ/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Either of two species of large amphibious reptile, {{taxlink}} or {{taxlink}}, in the genus Alligator within order Crocodilia, which have sharp teeth and very strong jaws and are native to the Americas and China. All you could see of the alligator were its two eyes above the water, and suddenly it snatched up and caught the poor bird with its strong jaws full of sharp teeth.
    • 2002, Maurice Burton, Robert Burton, International Wildlife Encyclopedia, page 38, Alligators and crocodiles look extremely alike. The main distinguishing feature is the teeth. In a crocodile the teeth in its upper and lower jaws are in line, but in an alligator, when its mouth is shut, the upper teeth lie outside the lower ones.
    • 2007, Bernie McGovern (editor), Florida Almanac: 2007-2008, 17th Edition, page 243, In 1967, the federal government declared alligators to be an Endangered Species and prohibited gator hunting and the sale of hides. The alligator responded and by the mid-1970s, the reptile numbers soared to an estimated half-million.
    • 2012, Thomas N. Tozer, Pierre's Journey to Florida: Diary of a Young Huguenot in the Sixteenth Century, unnumbered page, They ran to the village screaming at the top of their lungs that an alligator was coming after them. Several of the men in Alimacani retrieved from a storehouse the tool they used to catch alligators.
  2. Any of various machine with strong jaw, one of which opens like the movable jaw of an alligator.
    1. (metalworking) A form of squeezer for the puddle ball.
    2. (mining) A rock breaker.
    3. (printing) A kind of job press.
  3. Any of various vehicles that have relatively long, low noses in front of a cab or other, usually windowed, structure.
Synonyms: (reptile within Crocodilia) gator (informal)
coordinate terms:
  • (reptile within Crocodilia) caiman, cayman; croc, crocodile; gavial, gharial
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (of paint or other coatings) To crack in a pattern resembling an alligator's skin.
    • 2003, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Essentials of Home Inspection: Roofing, page 24, Alligatoring is a result of the sun making the top surface of the asphalt brittle.
    • 2004, James E. Piper, Handbook of Facility Assessment, page 39, Sealing an area that is alligatoring is a temporary solution that may delay having to replace the asphalt for several years. A more permanent repair would be to replace the alligatored section.
    • 2009, Kären M. Hess, Christine M. H. Orthmann, Criminal Investigation, page 483, Common burn indicators include alligatoring, crazing, the depth of char, lines of demarcation, sagged furniture springs and spalling.
etymology 2 Borrowing from Latin alligātor.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (obsolete) One who binds or ties.

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