Elephant meaning

ĕlə-fənt
Frequency:
Any of several very large herbivorous mammals of the family Elephantidae native to Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, 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.
noun
2
2
Any of various extinct animals of the family Elephantidae.
noun
1
2
Any of an order (Proboscidea) of huge, thick-skinned, almost hairless mammals, the largest of extant four-footed animals, with a long, flexible snout (called a trunk) and, usually, two ivory tusks growing out of the upper jaw: the existing species are the endangered Asian (or Indian) elephantIndian elephant (Elephas maximus), which is commonly domesticated, and two species of African elephant (Loxodonta africana and Loxodonta cyclotis), which have a flatter head and larger ears.
noun
1
2
(figuratively) Anything huge and ponderous.
noun
0
1
(UK, childish) Used when counting to add length.

Let's play hide and seek. I'll count. One elephant, two elephant, three elephant...

noun
0
1
Advertisement
The definition of an elephant is a member of the order Proboscidea which is gigantic, has a long trunk and thick skin, fan-shaped ears and is almost hairless.

An example of an elephant is the big animal at the zoo with a trunk.

An example of an elephant is the symbol of the Republican Party.

noun
0
3
A mammal of the order Proboscidea, having a trunk, and two large ivory tusks jutting from the upper jaw.
noun
0
3
(paper, printing) A printing-paper size measuring 30 inches x 22 inches.
noun
0
3
elephant in the room
  • A matter or problem that is obvious or of great importance but that is not discussed openly.
idiom
0
2
elephant in the room
  • An obvious, crucial factor or fact that is being ignored deliberately, as because it is unpleasant or disconcerting.
idiom
0
2
Advertisement

Origin of elephant

  • Middle English elefaunt from Old French olifant from Vulgar Latin olifantus from Latin elephantus from Greek elephās elephant-

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Middle English elefant, elefaunt, from Old French elefant, elefan, olifant, re-latinized in Middle French as elephant, from Latin elephantus, from Ancient Greek ἐλέφας (eléphās) (gen. ἐλέφαντος (eléphantos)). Believed to be derived from an Afro-Asiatic form such as Proto-Berber *eḷu (“elephant”) (compare Tamahaq (Tahaggart) êlu, (Ghat) alu) or Egyptian (ȝbw) (ābu) ‘elephant; ivory’. More at ivory. Replaced Middle English olifant, which replaced Old English elpend, olfend.

    From Wiktionary