Definition of gharial in English:


(also gavial)

Pronunciation /ˈɡarɪɑːl//ˌɡʌrɪˈɑːl//ˈɡɛːrɪəl/


  • A large fish-eating crocodile with a long, narrow snout that widens at the nostrils, native to the Indian subcontinent.

    Gavialis gangeticus, the only member of the family Gavialidae

    • ‘And then it moved, revealing that it was indeed an enormous gharial.’
    • ‘A crocodilian is any member of an order of reptiles that includes crocodiles, alligators, caimans, gavials, and related extinct forms.’
    • ‘The sight of a huge gharial resting along the lake or swimming in the water can affect many a brave heart.’
    • ‘Our streams and rivers teem with crocodiles, gharials and a large variety of fish, turtles and dolphins.’
    • ‘The Indian gharial was excluded from this study.’


Early 19th century: from Hindi ghaṛiyāl. The spelling gavial (from French) is an alteration probably due to scribal error.