Definition of gorilla in US English:

gorilla

noun

  • 1A powerfully built great ape with a large head and short neck, found in the forests of central Africa. It is the largest living primate.

    Gorilla gorilla, family Pongidae: three races (two lowland gorillas and the mountain gorilla)

    • ‘Western lowland gorilla families vary in size, sometimes numbering more than 20 individuals.’
    • ‘There are antelope and deer in this part of the forest; bigger animals such as forest elephants, gorillas and big cats can only be found nearer to the border with Cameroon.’
    • ‘Kukee, a 34-year-old western lowland gorilla, is thought to have died in the early hours of Tuesday morning after suffering from a short illness over the festive season.’
    • ‘Mayor just returned from tracking the western lowland gorilla in Central African Republic, the subject of an EXPLORER program that will premiere early next year.’
    • ‘In less than a month, they destroyed more than 4,000 acres of prime habitat for one of the world's most critically endangered species, the mountain gorilla.’
    • ‘It has a relatively short face and canine teeth that are shorter than those of gorillas or chimpanzees.’
    • ‘The mountain gorilla - the most rare with only about 600 animals remaining - is found at high altitudes, generally between 5,400 ft to 12,440 ft, in the Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.’
    • ‘The mountain gorilla, Gorilla beringei beringei, became known to science 100 years ago.’
    • ‘These include the Sumatran orangutan of Indonesia, the mountain gorilla of Africa, and northern muriqui of Brazil.’
    • ‘Conflict, illegal mining, and the growing bush-meat trade have all contributed to a 70 percent population decline of the eastern lowland gorilla, according to conservation groups that announced the preliminary findings this week.’
    • ‘A western lowland gorilla peers out at onlookers deep within a remote forest in the Central African Republic.’
    • ‘The mountain gorilla was discovered by Western explorers around a century ago.’
    • ‘Two at risk are great apes found only in Congo - eastern lowland gorillas and bonobos, or pygmy chimpanzees.’
    • ‘One of the most endangered species in the world and the largest living primate, the lowland gorilla originates from the tropical rain forests of equatorial Africa, particularly the Congo and Cameroon.’
    • ‘The chimp and mountain gorilla are the only great apes found naturally is East Africa.’
    • ‘Most knowledge of gorilla behavior comes from studies of the eastern mountain gorilla, found mostly in Rwanda and Uganda.’
    • ‘The news contrasts sharply with recent, more detailed surveys for another gorilla subspecies, the eastern mountain gorilla, which is found mainly on the Virunga Mountains in the Congo and Uganda.’
    • ‘In fact, Huxley argued, a human differs much less from an ape, such as a chimpanzee or gorilla, than an ape does from a baboon.’
    • ‘Osborn chose to ignore Darwin's correct guess that because Africa was where gorillas and chimps lived, the cradle of mankind would be found there.’
    • ‘The great apes, chimpanzees, orang-utans or gorillas as well as children respond in the same way.’
    1. 1.1informal A heavily built aggressive-looking man.
      • ‘Robin’s new boss is a gorilla.’
      • ‘Here's a great idea...we'll team an attractive, smart, considerate wife with a fat, obnoxious, gorilla of a husband... people will never see this coming!’
    2. 1.2with modifier A dominant contender within a particular sphere of operation or activity.
      ‘the 800-lb gorilla of the home mortgage industry’
      • ‘He forgets the 800-pound gorilla of presidential elections: the antiquated, undemocratic Electoral College.’
      • ‘TV is the 800-pound gorilla of traditional advertising because it works.’
      • ‘Ford, on the other hand, is the proverbial 800-pound gorilla, says Hazel.’
      • ‘I would hope that America goes in there - we're the 800-pound gorilla in this universe.’
      • ‘As one analyst says the 400-pound gorilla in the room is the auto bailout.’
      • ‘The initial buzz and projected rapid adoption rate of the technology is being driven by suppliers' zeal to stay in the good graces of the proverbial 900-pound gorilla.’
      • ‘That company was definitely the 800-pound gorilla in the industry.’
      • ‘Others have not quite taken to the Net as their next ' 800 lb gorilla marketing medium '.’
      • ‘Anyone who tries confronts Gemstar-TV Guide, the undisputed gorilla of the IPG space.’
      • ‘That is driving that 800-pound gorilla of the home price downturn crazy.’
      • ‘It is not easy to predict what business will emerge as a ' gorilla ', the company that will dominate the sector like Microsoft, Oracle or Intel.’

Origin

From an alleged African word for a wild or hairy person, found in the Greek account of the voyage of the Carthaginian explorer Hanno in the 5th or 6th century BC; adopted in 1847 as the specific name of the ape.

Pronunciation

gorilla

/ɡəˈrɪlə//ɡəˈrilə/