Definition of crocodile in English:


Line breaks: croco|dile
Pronunciation: /ˈkrɒkədʌɪl


  • 1A large predatory semiaquatic reptile with long jaws, long tail, short legs, and a horny textured skin.
    • Family Crocodylidae: three genera, in particular Crocodylus, and several species
    More example sentences
    • They could see the scaled skin of crocodiles and alligators along with an assortment of fish swimming about.
    • Hunted extensively for their skins, large crocodiles are becoming increasingly rare.
    • Many of the children were surprised at the texture of the crocodile's skin.
  • 1.1 [mass noun] Leather made from crocodile skin, used especially to make bags and shoes.
    More example sentences
    • Shoes are sling-backed heels of crocodile and patent leather.
    • Accessories include wedged shoes in crocodile, aged leather belts cinched around jackets and blazers recalling Dr. Zhivago.
    • Shoes are pointed and classic in crocodile and patterned leather with a lace or side buckle.
  • 2British informal A line of schoolchildren walking in pairs.
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    • 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.


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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