One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A large semiaquatic reptile similar to a crocodile but with a broader and shorter head, native to the Americas and China.
Genus Alligator, family Alligatoridae, order Crocodylia: the American alligator (A. mississippiensis) and the Chinese alligator (A. sinensis)
- ‘The zoo here is now playing host to a pair each of seamy crocodiles, alligators and caimans, giving the city dwellers a glimpse of some rare species.’
- ‘And it is fair to say they are rather desperate to catch Chucky the alligator and the other five alligators.’
- ‘My guess is that alligators and water moccasins outnumber race fans in the Homestead area, which is south of Miami.’
- ‘Caiman belong to the group known as crocodilians, which also includes alligators and crocodiles.’
- ‘Crocodiles and alligators have changed very little since their beginning.’
- ‘The gardens contained heated pools for his menagerie of alligators and tropical turtles.’
- ‘At Gatorland, lake levels were lowered in order to prevent floods spilling the 1,000 alligators and crocodiles into the surrounding area.’
- ‘This environmentally protected area is home to turtles, crabs, dolphins, and alligators.’
- ‘For now, the alligators in the Florida Everglades are holding their ground against the invading snakes.’
- ‘When docking or beaching, look for evidence of turtles, birds, alligators and other animals along shore.’
- ‘There are snakes and alligators everywhere, and the more you see, the more you realise the city isn't going to be liveable for who knows how long.’
- ‘Mississippi alligators commonly live for about 80 years.’
- ‘Stunned parkgoers have even spotted the pythons in epic battles with native alligators.’
- ‘Coyotes, white-tailed deer, elk, and even alligators can cause problems on the ground.’
- ‘The lake view turned out to be a murky green puddle of water several feet deep, full of moss, slime, and a pack of vicious alligators.’
- ‘Potential alligators should form an orderly crocodile line and apply quickly to avoid tears.’
- ‘Saltwater marshes and ponds dot the landscape, and alligators lazily sun themselves on banks.’
- ‘Many people think there is a big difference between crocodiles and alligators, but this is not correct as they both belong to the same family.’
- ‘A variety of turtles lived in the rivers, along with gar, freshwater clams and snails, crayfish, and alligators.’
- ‘Bullough brought alligators and giant turtles to the island, where they lived in heated glasshouses.’
- 1.1mass noun The skin of the alligator or material resembling it.
- ‘Startled by Theo's sudden arrival, the old lady emitted a little shriek and clutched her alligator skin handbag tightly to her chest.’
- ‘He wore dark blue pants and alligator skin boots, and a white shirt that had long puffy sleeves and purple embroidery on the cuffs.’
- ‘George can provide exotic skins too, like alligator, lizard, ostrich and even stingray.’
- ‘Get rid of alligator legs by first exfoliating in the shower.’
- ‘In the dim light could be seen a black cowboy hat, a black trench coat, a pair of dirty blue jeans with alligator skin boots and a generous helping of ammo belts draped over his chest.’
Late 16th century: from Spanish el lagarto ‘the lizard’, probably based on Latin lacerta.
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