One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A large predatory semiaquatic reptile with long jaws, long tail, short legs, and a horny textured skin, using submersion and stealth to approach prey unseen. The crocodile has been extensively hunted for its valuable skin.
Family Crocodylidae: three genera, in particular Crocodylus, and several species
procession, parade, motorcade, carcade, cortègeView synonyms
- ‘After two more sightings of giant reptiles, both crocodiles, we pulled into a small cove.’
- ‘The surviving sauropsids include turtles, lizards, crocodiles and birds, all of which are still around today.’
- ‘Saltwater crocodiles and other crocodile species are the most likely predators of smooth-coated otters.’
- ‘They could see the scaled skin of crocodiles and alligators along with an assortment of fish swimming about.’
- ‘Their heads were akin to those of a crocodile, with short yellow teeth protruding over scaled lips, and the long snout jutting forwards.’
- ‘Some apes were killed by predators such as crocodiles when they went to drink out of the lake.’
- ‘Most of us aren't going to see a crocodile or an alligator in the wild.’
- ‘Snakes, crocodiles, and crabs scurry and swim about the forest floor.’
- ‘It probably lived in a shallow lake populated by dinosaurs, crocodiles, turtles, and numerous types of fish.’
- ‘We turn next to crocodiles and alligators, in which the heart has two anatomically separate ventricles.’
- ‘Man is the primary predator, but others include leopards, crocodiles, and birds.’
- ‘The tail sweep of a tuna, a newt, a crocodile, or a whale is the leverage act of the backbone pushing water with the expanded tail.’
- ‘Our streams and rivers teem with crocodiles, gharials and a large variety of fish, turtles and dolphins.’
- ‘Alligators and crocodiles have dots on their skin that scientists have long suspected to be sense organs.’
- ‘Many of the children were surprised at the texture of the crocodile's skin.’
- ‘Hunted extensively for their skins, large crocodiles are becoming increasingly rare.’
- ‘Alligators and crocodiles have nerves in their teeth, and when they feel the bar, they chomp down.’
- ‘Caiman belong to the group known as crocodilians, which also includes alligators and crocodiles.’
- ‘Their descendants include extant species such as birds, crocodiles and alligators.’
- ‘After all, crocodiles are cold-blooded reptiles, and don't live in these climes.’
- 1.1 Leather made from crocodile skin, used especially to make bags and shoes.
- ‘Shoes are sling-backed heels of crocodile and patent leather.’
- ‘He offers perhaps the widest range of exotic leathers, from crocodile to shark.’
- ‘Shoes are pointed and classic in crocodile and patterned leather with a lace or side buckle.’
- ‘It's like having ivory on your mantelpiece and crocodile shoes in your closet.’
- ‘The new boutique is a wonder of luxury: the major part of the store's furnishings are covered in chic and pricey crocodile.’
- ‘He used the corset look to great effect, particularly when he paired a white crocodile bustier with a black silk chiffon petal skirt and a rose silk faille bustier with a black silk chiffon lace inset skirt.’
- ‘Crocodile is huge for autumn.’
- ‘Karl Lagerfeld, dressed in knee-high crocodile boots and a leather choker, was one of the speakers.’
- ‘Accessories include wedged shoes in crocodile, aged leather belts cinched around jackets and blazers recalling Dr. Zhivago.’
- ‘Your jacket, sneakers, and the cell phone in your pocket become an Italian suit, crocodile shoes, and high-caliber pistol.’
- ‘Coupled with his navy crocodile shoes, Muhammad sees it as a sure bargain.’
- ‘Ranging in price from $175 to $500, each handbag is crafted from either calf hide, lambskin, or crocodile.’
- ‘Guys with painted shirts and vests underneath, big turn-up jeans and crocodile shoes.’
2British informal A line of schoolchildren walking in pairs.
line, row, column, file, chain, string, streamView synonyms
- ‘They wore uniform, had uniform haircuts, slept in large dormitories known as wards, and walked everywhere crocodile fashion.’
- ‘Kids and not-kids and people so far from being kids they were coming round for a second chance formed a long crocodile queue round and round the shop, up and down the aisles, all lined up to pay for their copies.’
- ‘As a crocodile of children snaked their way through the school gates of a Hampshire school there was no sign that a black panther could be at large.’
- ‘For example, when a school crocodile passed, the eye would count it as one person.’
- ‘The owner of one stall enthused about the rich tradition of cheesemaking he'd inherited, along with his flock of sheep, to a crocodile of rapt schoolchildren.’
- ‘Will the UK scheme to walk a crocodile of children to school give them independence - or simply embarrass them?’
- ‘The crocodile involves the group walking one behind another and throwing a ball back down the line.’
Middle English cocodrille, cokadrill, from Old French cocodrille, via medieval Latin from Latin crocodilus, from Greek krokodilos ‘worm of the stones’, from krokē ‘pebble’ + drilos ‘worm’. The spelling was changed in the 16th century to conform with the Latin and Greek forms.
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