alligator

An alligator is a very big reptile — a scaly, four-footed animal with a long tail. You might see an alligator if you travel to Florida or Louisiana.

Alligators are only found in the warmest, swampiest places in the United States and China — and occasionally in the zoo. They can grow as long as fourteen feet and can weigh more than 900 pounds, and they eat turtles, birds, fish, and sometimes deer. Alligator comes from the Spanish el lagarto, or "lizard." In the 1930s, if someone called you an alligator, they might have been referring to your love for swing music.

Definitions of alligator
  1. noun
    either of two amphibious reptiles related to crocodiles but with shorter broader snouts
    synonyms: gator
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    types:
    Alligator mississipiensis, American alligator
    large alligator of the southeastern United States
    Alligator sinensis, Chinese alligator
    small alligator of the Yangtze valley of China having unwebbed digits
    type of:
    crocodilian, crocodilian reptile
    extant archosaurian reptile
  2. noun
    leather made from alligator's hide
    see moresee less
    type of:
    leather
    an animal skin made smooth and flexible by removing the hair and then tanning
  3. verb
    crack and acquire the appearance of alligator hide, as from weathering or improper application; of paint and varnishes
    see moresee less
    type of:
    crack
    break partially but keep its integrity
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