The adjective mammoth is a great way to describe something really, really big, like those huge woolly elephants they’re still finding in the melting glaciers.

The word mammoth is a pretty new one, dating back only to around 1700. It was first only a noun from the Russian word mammot, meaning “earth,” and used to name the newly-discovered fossilized creature that was thought to have burrowed in the earth like a mole. The word, a rare Russian contribution to English, was not used as an adjective until around 1800 — notably when President Thomas Jefferson used it to describe a very large cheese.

Definitions of mammoth

n any of numerous extinct elephants widely distributed in the Pleistocene; extremely large with hairy coats and long upcurved tusks

Mammuthus primigenius, northern mammoth, woolly mammoth
very hairy mammoth common in colder portions of the northern hemisphere
Mammuthus columbi, columbian mammoth
a variety of mammoth
Archidiskidon imperator, imperial elephant, imperial mammoth
largest known mammoth; of America
Type of:
five-toed pachyderm

adj so exceedingly large or extensive as to suggest a giant or mammoth

“a mammoth ship”
“a mammoth multinational corporation”
big, large
above average in size or number or quantity or magnitude or extent

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.