from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Either of two very large herbivorous mammals, Elephas maximus of south-central Asia or Loxodonta africana of Africa, having thick, almost hairless skin, a long, flexible, prehensile trunk, upper incisors forming long curved tusks of ivory, and, in the African species, large fan-shaped ears.
- n. Any of various extinct or living animals related to either of these two animals.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A mammal of the order Proboscidea, having a trunk, and two large ivory tusks jutting from the upper jaw.
- n. Anything huge and ponderous.
- n. A printing-paper size measuring 30 inches x 22 inches.
- n. used when counting to add length.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A mammal of the order Proboscidia and family Elephantidae, of which two living species, Elephas maximus (formerly Elephas Indicus) and Loxodonta Africana (formerly E. Africanus), and several fossil species, are known. They have five toes, a long proboscis or trunk, and two large ivory tusks proceeding from the extremity of the upper jaw, and curving upwards. The molar teeth are large and have transverse folds. Elephants are the largest land animals now existing. The elephant is classed as a pachyderm.
- n. Ivory; the tusk of the elephant.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A five-toed proboscidian mammal, of the genus Elephas, constituting a subfamily, Elephantinæ, and comprehending two living species, namely, Elephas indicus and Elephas (Loxodon) africanus.
- n. The former inhabits India, and is characterized by a concave high forehead, small ears, and comparatively small tusks; the latter is found in Africa, and has a convex forehead, great flapping ears, and large tusks. The tusks occur in both sexes, curving upward from the extremity of the upper jaw. The nose is prolonged into a cylindrical trunk or proboscis, at the extremity of which the nostrils open. The trunk is extremely flexible and highly sensitive, and terminates in a finger-like prehensile lobe. Elephants are the largest quadrupeds at present existing. Their tusks are of great value as ivory, furnishing an important article of commerce, in Africa especially, and occasioning the destruction of great numbers of these animals. Ten species of fossil elephants have been described, of which the best-known is the hairy mammoth, E. primigenius. The mastodons are nearly related to elephants, but form a separate subfamily Mastodontinæ (which see).
- n. Figuratively, a burdensome or perplexing possession or charge; something that one does not know what to do with or how to get rid of: as, to have an elephant on one's hands; he found his great house very much of an elephant.
- n. Ivory; the tusk of the elephant.
- n. A drawing-or writing-paper measuring in America 22x27 inches.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. five-toed pachyderm
- n. the symbol of the Republican Party; introduced in cartoons by Thomas Nast in 1874
Middle English elefaunt, from Old French olifant, from Vulgar Latin *olifantus, from Latin elephantus, from Greek elephās, elephant-.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English elefant, elefaunt, from Middle French elephant, learned borrowing from Latin elephantus, from Ancient Greek ἐλέφας (eléphās) (gen. ἐλέφαντος (eléphantos)), compound of Berber *eḷu (“elephant”) (compare Tamahaq (Tahaggart) êlu, (Ghat) alu) and Egyptian 𓍋𓃀𓅱𓌟 (ȝbw) (ābu) ‘elephant; ivory’. More at ivory. Replaced Middle English olifant, which replaced Old English elpend, olfend. (Wiktionary)