from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The formation of cracks on the surface of paint layers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A pattern of cracking of paint on a surface leaving roughly hexagonal areas of uncracked paint.
  • n. The cracking of the surfacing bitumen on a bituminous roof or coating on a SPF roof, producing a pattern of cracks similar to an alligator's hide.


From the resemblance of the cracks to the pattern of an alligator's scales.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
alligator +‎ -ing, from the similarity in appearance to an alligator's skin (Wiktionary)



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