American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various large, hairy, extinct elephants of the genus Mammuthus, especially the woolly mammoth.
- n. Something of great size.
- adj. Of enormous size; huge. See Synonyms at enormous.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An extinct species of elephant, Elephas primigenius. It is nearly related to the existing Indian elephant, having teeth of similar pattern, and is believed to have been the ancestor of this species; but it was thickly covered with a shaggy coat of three kinds, long stiff bristles and long flexible hairs being mixed with a kind of wool. This warm covering enabled it to endure the rigor of winter in its native regions. The tusks were of great size and much curved. An entire mammoth was discovered in 1799 by a Tungusian fisherman named Schumachoff, embedded in the ice on the banks of the river Lena in Siberia, in such complete preservation that its flesh was eaten by dogs, wolves, and bears. It was about 9 feet high and 16 feet long, with tusks 9 feet long measured along the curve. In later years the bones and tusks of the mammoth have been found abundantly in Siberia, and the fossil ivory has been of great commercial value. This article had been known for many centuries before the discovery of the animal itself, and the mammoth is now supposed to have ranged, before, during, and after the glacial epoch, over the greater part of the northern hemisphere. That it was contemporary with prehistoric man is shown by the discovery of a drawing of the animal scratched on a piece of its own ivory found in a cave in France. This species is more expressly known as the hairy mammoth. The name mammoth is extended to other fossil elephants of the same genus or of the subfamily Elephantinœ, but is not applicable to the mastodons, of the subfamily Mastodontinœ.
- Of great comparative size, like a mammoth; gigantic; colossal; immense: as, a mammoth ox; the mammoth tree of California (Sequoia gigantea).
- n. A large, hairy, extinct elephant-like mammal of the taxonomic genus Mammuthus.
- n. figuratively Something very large of its kind.
- adj. Very large.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) An extinct, hairy, maned elephant (Mammuthus primigenius formerly Elephas primigenius), of enormous size, remains of which are found in the northern parts of both continents. The last of the race, in Europe, were coeval with prehistoric man.
- adj. Resembling the mammoth in size; very large; gigantic.
- adj. so exceedingly large or extensive as to suggest a giant or mammoth
- n. any of numerous extinct elephants widely distributed in the Pleistocene; extremely large with hairy coats and long upcurved tusks
- From obsolete Russian мамант (modern мамонт), probably from Old Vogul *mēmoŋt ‘earth-horn’ (compare Mansi mā ‘earth’, ou̯tə ‘horn’). (Wiktionary)
- Obsolete Russian mamut, mamot. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“And suddenly the term mammoth, no longer just referring to an animal, meant anything big.”
“We hunted large game; a mammoth is a risky proposition.”
“They were his picture books, and he could take one in hand, perhaps a sketch of the great hairy elephant which we call the mammoth, and show it around the circle and then tell the story of that hunt.”
“The name mammoth, which is probably of Tartar origin, Witsen appears to wish to derive from Behemoth, spoken of in the fortieth chapter of the Book of Job.”
“The woolly mammoth is the ideal choice for the “new” republican party.”
“We have the oldest model that he has in his collection, a woolly mammoth from the '40s, when he was just doing it in a shop in his garage," she says.”
“All that stands between the world and a living, breathing wooly mammoth is $10M.”
“Link many people assume the hairy mammoth is extinct, but there could be one out behind your garage.”
“He was the KEWLEST. also: the word mammoth always makes me snicker.”
“And it was -- now I got the name mammoth through a curious process.”
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