Definition of mammoth in English:



  • A large extinct elephant of the Pleistocene epoch, typically hairy with a sloping back and long curved tusks.

    • ‘The demise of Neanderthals may, instead, have resembled that of mammoths in North America.’
    • ‘In this scenario, humans moved rapidly through the continent, slaughtering mammoths, mastodons and other large prey as they went.’
    • ‘Woolly mammoths, which are now extinct, lived from the Pleistocene to the early Holocene period from about 120,000 to 4,000 years ago.’
    • ‘From mammoths and mastodons the Clovis foragers would have learned much about edible wild plants.’
    • ‘In the research literature, there has been some confusion about the species of mammoths hunted in the past.’
    • ‘To learn what froze the mammoths, we must first understand much of what is known about them.’
    • ‘And what this ingenious man did was section the trunks of mastodonts and mammoths and read their life history.’
    • ‘It caused the extinction of mammoths and many other species, leaving a world that was warmer but much less diverse.’
    • ‘The vegetation today is too sparse to support large herds of mammoths anyway.’
    • ‘By understanding how mammoths responded to their changing environment, experts hope to gain insight to why the giant mammals went extinct.’
    • ‘Woolly mammoths are perhaps the best known mammals of the Ice Age.’
    • ‘Environmental evidence suggests the site was once a series of ponds used as a watering place, although it is unclear whether the mammoths died of natural causes and were later scavenged, or were killed by Neanderthal hunters.’
    • ‘DNA from mammoths has been amplified, sequenced and compared with modern elephants.’
    • ‘Although mammoths came much later than dinosaurs, I spotted a giant pair of ancient curved ivory tusks protruding from an isolated cliff.’
    • ‘At first a fairly generalized elephant species, mammoths evolved into several specialized species adapted to their environments.’
    • ‘The latest research on mammoth tusks shows that young male mammoths were being forced out of family groups much earlier than normal.’
    • ‘With current cloning techniques could mammoths be brought back from extinction?’
    • ‘After a tooth erupts from the gum cavity, the mammoth uses it in grinding coarse vegetation like grass.’
    • ‘Scientists tell us that around 14,000 years ago North America was the home of large populations of mammoths and mastodons.’
    • ‘The back cover claims it presents the wonderful story of the elephant, from the extinct mammoths of the Ice Age to their present day battle for survival.’


  • Huge.

    ‘a mammoth corporation’
    • ‘Then all that remains is the mammoth task of delivering all the presents on time.’
    • ‘Mr Johnson does not mince his words when it comes to emphasising the dangers associated with this mammoth project.’
    • ‘It was a mammoth task, especially considering he discovered the place only by accident.’
    • ‘Livingstone acknowledges it will be a mammoth task to fill every nook and cranny of the national stadium.’
    • ‘This is a mammoth task by any criteria, and the more hands there are the lighter the work load for each individual.’
    • ‘The sudden reappearance of his father, coupled with his mother's mammoth success, proves to be too much.’
    • ‘Leonard designed the block, which has giant bore spacings and mammoth cylinder heads.’
    • ‘When two or more people are living under the same roof these somewhat trivial things can quickly turn into issues of mammoth importance.’
    • ‘A scandal of mammoth proportions has hit the media industry, but no-one seems to be giving it a second thought.’
    • ‘The turbulence this mammoth decline will create will throw every aspect of our lives through whirling vortexes.’
    • ‘It has been a mammoth task because in places they have grown to more than 13 feet.’
    • ‘Constructions meant to withstand mammoth assault crumble without protest.’
    • ‘Like any mammoth task, it can be difficult to get started.’
    • ‘As long as it's not a multicolored, mammoth hat with a humongous pom-pom attached to it.’
    • ‘They are able to quickly pull relevant information from this mammoth database.’
    • ‘For this one mammoth presentation alone, the set is worth the price of digital admission.’
    • ‘Instead, the need for mammoth funds to mount election campaigns allowed big business to keep buying influence.’
    • ‘But here I have the ability to take a step back and see the green leaves as mammoth trees.’
    • ‘He explains at one point that he could not possibly document all of the information in this mammoth book.’
    • ‘Otherwise Zambia needs a pat on the back for embarking on this mammoth task of fighting corruption.’
    huge, enormous, gigantic, giant, colossal, massive, vast, immense, mighty, stupendous, monumental, herculean, epic, prodigious, mountainous, monstrous, titanic, towering, elephantine, king-sized, king-size, gargantuan, brobdingnagian
    mega, monster, whopping great, thumping, thumping great, humongous, jumbo, bumper, astronomical, astronomic
    whacking, whacking great, ginormous
    View synonyms


Early 18th century: from Russian mamo(n)t, probably of Siberian origin.