from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various extinct elephants of the genus Mammuthus of the Pliocene, Pleistocene, and Holocene Epochs, having ridged molars and often, as in the woolly mammoth, long tusks and hair.
  • noun Something that is of great size.
  • adjective Of enormous size, extent, or amount; huge. synonym: enormous.
  • adjective Of great scope or importance.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An extinct species of elephant, Elephas primigenius.
  • Of great comparative size, like a mammoth; gigantic; colossal; immense: as, a mammoth ox; the mammoth tree of California (Sequoia gigantea).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Resembling the mammoth in size; very large; gigantic.
  • noun (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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A large, hairy, extinct elephant-like mammal of the taxonomic genus Mammuthus.
  • noun figuratively Something very large of its kind.
  • adjective Very large.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective so exceedingly large or extensive as to suggest a giant or mammoth
  • noun any of numerous extinct elephants widely distributed in the Pleistocene; extremely large with hairy coats and long upcurved tusks


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

[Ultimately (perhaps influenced by behemoth) from Russian mamont, mamot, probably from earlier Mansi (Ugric language of western Siberia) *mān-oŋt- : *mān, earth (akin to modern Mansi mā-, earth, as in mā-xar, mammoth (literally, “earth stag”)) + *oŋt-, horn (in reference to fossil mammoth tusks).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From obsolete Russian мамант (modern мамонт), probably from Old Vogul *mēmoŋt ‘earth-horn’ (compare Mansi mā ‘earth’, ou̯tə ‘horn’).


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  • Also used as a modifier, meaning "very big". As in a sentence I just read in seriously intended copy, referring to a firm as a mammoth boutique. The richness of the Web is illustrated by the fact that several of those randomized spam sites, whatever they are (I have no intention of clicking) contain this very phrase in most curious contexts:

    society enrichmentm eeting invitations after applicant of the phony ugly fire succumbing inside me, soothing into the mammoth boutique between my legs.

    by roundness up an corridoro with the latest fashions, discontinuation and accessories, all within a mammoth boutique. Read out ringworm genre remedies.

    March 9, 2009

  • Interestingly, this word came into West European languages via Russian; hence I place it on my list of slavonicisms.

    December 23, 2015