Definition of tiger in US English:

tiger

noun

  • 1A very large solitary cat with a yellow-brown coat striped with black, native to the forests of Asia but becoming increasingly rare.

    Panthera tigris, family Felidae

    • ‘And in India, Bengal tigers laze in forest branches.’
    • ‘The big cats you find outside Africa include tiger, jaguar, leopard, cougar and Iberian lynx.’
    • ‘In India, once considered the greatest stronghold for tigers, recent reports show the big cats disappearing altogether from some core reserve areas.’
    • ‘The burgeoning trade in bones and body parts for use in folk medicines threatens tigers and other big cats.’
    • ‘Next door is the Night Safari where, between 7.30 pm and midnight, you can watch buffalo, deer, tigers and fishing cats as they come out to feed.’
    • ‘Cambodia was once home to herds of elephants, possibly thousands of tigers, wild cattle, leopards, bears, barking deer and an array of other animals.’
    • ‘The reason that this can happen is that both the lion and the tiger are big cats.’
    • ‘Because the tiger had become so rare, it had become an extremely valuable commodity in the black markets of Asia.’
    • ‘Entering the forest officer's house, he found the skins of 3 Bengal tigers and 50 leopards.’
    • ‘Boller estimates there may be as many as 400 to 500 lions, tigers, and other big cats in the Houston area alone.’
    • ‘The most ferocious biters among mammals aren't lions, tigers, or wolves, but meat-eating marsupials, a new study says.’
    • ‘They were unlike tigers and all other living cats, which are solitary hunters.’
    • ‘The forests supported tigers, elephants, wild boar, oxen, and deer, as well as wildfowl.’
    • ‘In 1971, it banned the hunting of tigers, the first tiger range state to do so.’
    • ‘Wild tigers mainly inhabit Asia, whereas the lion's current natural habitat is almost entirely in Africa.’
    • ‘Lions, tigers, jaguars, giraffes, orang-utans and emus were some of the other creatures we saw.’
    • ‘Weiler's survey found that the use of land mines to kill tigers, deer, wild cattle and other animals was widespread.’
    • ‘Passing tigers, rhinos, tapirs, deer and other animals triggered the shutter by tripping infrared sensors.’
    • ‘And yet another is a mountain refuge for vultures, tigers, and wild water buffalo.’
    • ‘Because the elephants aren't afraid of the tigers, the tigers aren't afraid of elephants.’
    performer, doer, worker, succeeder, high achiever, activist, man of action, woman of action, entrepreneur
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Used to refer to someone fierce, determined, or ambitious.
      ‘despite his wound, he still fought like a tiger’
      ‘one of the sport's young tigers’
      • ‘‘I have a son and four nephews involved, and they're young tigers that think out of the box,’ he said.’
      • ‘But Liverpool fought like tigers and erupted in joy at the final whistle, with an all-English semi-final to look forward to.’
      • ‘City fought like tigers all night and deserve all the credit.’
      • ‘This wasn't just a flash in the pan, they fought back like tigers to win this match.’
      • ‘But now the young tigers want to return to cap the final squeeze.’
      • ‘Brandy was mad now, her eyes had turned to narrow slits and her ears were laid back on her head, she represented a fierce tiger and Millie trembled again.’
      • ‘The Malton pack fought like tigers against the heavier visiting eight and with the tackling in the backs of the highest order, West Park found difficulty in breaking out of their own half.’
      • ‘She growled, like a fierce tiger about to rip its pray to smithereens.’
      • ‘Eve fought like a tiger, and finally freed herself of him, pushing him away from her.’
      • ‘Here, the players grappled like bears and fought like tigers to stay on their feet.’
      • ‘At the beginning of last season the young Rheban tigers raced off into a great lead at the head of the first division.’
      • ‘He said he was still full of energy, though not like the young tiger of old, but still enough to fight.’
      • ‘Many of these young tigers are well-dressed and oblivious, yapping away into their mobile phones.’
      • ‘Angela stepped up now, as blunt and determined as a pacing tiger.’
      • ‘As it happens, Cato is a fierce tiger when it comes to advocating for oppressed tobacco firms.’
      • ‘He said you had the courage of a lion, the strength of an elephant, and you fought like a ferocious tiger!’
      • ‘He tried to push me back, but I was fighting like a tiger.’
      • ‘I would prefer to have the young tigers and tigresses volunteering at a level that made it unnecessary to have a draft.’
      • ‘On reflection it seems that the sands of time are beginning to catch up on the ageing stars, while some of the young tigers seem to be finding it hard to assume the mantle of leaders.’
      • ‘My two year old was so tired she was falling down, but fought like a tiger not to have to go to bed.’
    2. 1.2 A dynamic economy of one of the smaller eastern Asian countries, especially that of Singapore, Taiwan, or South Korea.
      • ‘‘For an emergent tiger economy, the Philippines is back once more to being the sick man of Asia,’ she said.’
      • ‘As with the two most important East Asian tigers, South Korea and Taiwan, state direction was used to build up basic industries while massive repression kept living standards down.’
      • ‘The Asian financial crisis of the nineties exposed the frailty of the Asian tigers ' economic model.’
      • ‘The rapid growth of Hong Kong, another of the East Asian tigers, wasn't accompanied by substantial investment in education.’
      • ‘When they were at the same stage of development as India is now, Asian tigers like South Korea, Taiwan, and China focused on elementary and secondary schools.’

Phrases

  • have a tiger by the tail (also be riding a tiger)

    • Have embarked on a course of action which proves unexpectedly difficult but which cannot easily or safely be abandoned.

      • ‘They ride a tiger, and the retribution against them, were they to be overthrown, would be frightful.’
      • ‘On both occasions politicians, academics and bureaucrats found themselves riding a tiger of unanticipated national emotion.’
      • ‘But as I look back, you know, I had a tiger by the tail.’
      • ‘The Chinese are riding a tiger, and can't easily get off.’
      • ‘Is it that the administration rides a tiger and is afraid to dismount?’
      • ‘It is said that the trick to riding a tiger is finding a way to dismount.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, some of blogging's most influential promoters don't seem to fully understand that they have a tiger by the tail.’
      • ‘While he's been lucky so far, Howard has a tiger by the tail.’
      • ‘If things work out and you become an institution, how long will it be before you're riding a tiger and can't get off?’
      • ‘Those seizing land from white farmers are riding a tiger they can't control.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French tigre, from Latin tigris, from Greek.

Pronunciation

tiger

/ˈtīɡər//ˈtaɪɡər/