Definition of alligator in English:


Syllabification: al·li·ga·tor
Pronunciation: /ˈaliˌgātər


  • 1A large semiaquatic reptile similar to a crocodile but with a broader and shorter head, native to the Americas and China.
    • Genus Alligator, family Alligatoridae, order Crocodylia: the American alligator (A. mississippiensis) and the Chinese alligator (A. sinensis)
    More example sentences
    • The zoo here is now playing host to a pair each of seamy crocodiles, alligators and caimans, giving the city dwellers a glimpse of some rare species.
    • Caiman belong to the group known as crocodilians, which also includes alligators and crocodiles.
    • Stunned parkgoers have even spotted the pythons in epic battles with native alligators.
  • 1.1The skin of the alligator or material resembling it.
    More example sentences
    • George can provide exotic skins too, like alligator, lizard, ostrich and even stingray.
    • In the dim light could be seen a black cowboy hat, a black trench coat, a pair of dirty blue jeans with alligator skin boots and a generous helping of ammo belts draped over his chest.
    • He wore dark blue pants and alligator skin boots, and a white shirt that had long puffy sleeves and purple embroidery on the cuffs.


late 16th century: from Spanish el lagarto 'the lizard', probably based on Latin lacerta.

More definitions of alligator

Definition of alligator in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kəːf
a slit made by cutting with a saw