One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large fish-eating crocodile with a long, narrow snout that widens at the nostrils, native to the Indian subcontinent.
- ‘Our streams and rivers teem with crocodiles, gharials and a large variety of fish, turtles and dolphins.’
- ‘A crocodilian is any member of an order of reptiles that includes crocodiles, alligators, caimans, gavials, and related extinct forms.’
- ‘The Indian gharial was excluded from this study.’
- ‘The sight of a huge gharial resting along the lake or swimming in the water can affect many a brave heart.’
- ‘And then it moved, revealing that it was indeed an enormous gharial.’
Early 19th century: from Hindi ghaṛiyāl. The spelling gavial (from French) is an alteration probably due to scribal error.
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