Elephant
Elephant El"e*phant ([e^]l"[-e]*fant), n. [OE. elefaunt, olifant, OF. olifant, F. ['e]l['e]phant, L. elephantus, elephas, -antis, fr. Gr. 'ele`fas, 'ele`fantos; of unknown origin; perh. fr. Skr. ibha, with the Semitic article al, el, prefixed, or fr. Semitic Aleph hindi Indian bull; or cf. Goth. ulbandus camel, AS. olfend.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) 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. [1913 Webster]

2. Ivory; the tusk of the elephant. [Obs.] --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

{Elephant apple} (Bot.), an East Indian fruit with a rough, hard rind, and edible pulp, borne by {Feronia elephantum}, a large tree related to the orange.

{Elephant bed} (Geol.), at Brighton, England, abounding in fossil remains of elephants. --Mantell.

{Elephant beetle} (Zo["o]l.), any very large beetle of the genus {Goliathus} (esp. {G. giganteus}), of the family {Scarab[ae]id[ae]}. They inhabit West Africa.

{Elephant fish} (Zo["o]l.), a chim[ae]roid fish ({Callorhynchus antarcticus}), with a proboscis-like projection of the snout.

{Elephant paper}, paper of large size, 23 [times] 28 inches.

{Double elephant paper}, paper measuring 263/4 [times] 40 inches. See Note under {Paper}.

{Elephant seal} (Zo["o]l.), an African jumping shrew ({Macroscelides typicus}), having a long nose like a proboscis.

{Elephant's ear} (Bot.), a name given to certain species of the genus Begonia, which have immense one-sided leaves.

{Elephant's foot} (Bot.) (a) A South African plant ({Testudinaria Elephantipes}), which has a massive rootstock covered with a kind of bark cracked with deep fissures; -- called also {tortoise plant}. The interior part is barely edible, whence the plant is also called {Hottentot's bread}. (b) A genus ({Elephantopus}) of coarse, composite weeds.

{Elephant's tusk} (Zo["o]l.), the tooth shell. See {Dentalium}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Eléphant — Éléphant Pour les articles homonymes, voir Éléphant (homonymie). Nom vernaculaire ou nom normalisé ambigu : Le terme « Éléphant » s applique, en français, à plusieurs taxons distincts …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Élephant — Éléphant Pour les articles homonymes, voir Éléphant (homonymie). Nom vernaculaire ou nom normalisé ambigu : Le terme « Éléphant » s applique, en français, à plusieurs taxons distincts …   Wikipédia en Français

  • éléphant — [ elefɑ̃ ] n. m. • elefant XII e; surtout olifant jusqu au XVe; lat. elephantus 1 ♦ Grand mammifère ongulé (proboscidiens), herbivore vivant par bandes dans les forêts humides et chaudes ou dans la savane, remarquable par sa masse pesante, sa… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Elephant — Éléphant (homonymie) Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Elephant — steht für: Hotel Elephant, ein Hotel in Weimar Elephant (Film), ein Film von Gus Van Sant Elephant (Kurzfilm), ein Film von Alan Clarke KFNB – Koloss und Elephant, eine österreichische Lokomotive Elephant (Album), ein Album der Band The White… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • elephant — [el′ə fənt] n. pl. elephants or elephant [ME elefaunt < L elephantus < Gr elephas (gen. elephantos), elephant, ivory < ? Berber elu, elephant + Egypt Ȝ bw, elephant, ivory] any of an order (Proboscidea) of huge, thick skinned, almost… …   English World dictionary

  • elephant — This noble animal has given rise to a number of phrases and idioms, such as white elephant and see the elephant (mainly AmE, meaning ‘to gain experience of the world’). More recently, the presence of an elephant in the room signals ‘a big problem …   Modern English usage

  • éléphant — ÉLÉPHANT. s. m. Le plus grand des quadrupèdes, qui a une trompe, et dont les dents principales, quand elles sont détachées de la gueule de l animal, s appellent Ivoire. Monter un éléphant. Gouverner un éléphant. On se servoit autrefois des… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • elephant — c.1300, olyfaunt, from O.Fr. oliphant (12c.), from L. elephantus, from Gk. elephas (gen. elephantos) elephant, ivory, probably from a non I.E. language, likely via Phoenician (Cf. Hamitic elu elephant, source of the word for it in many Semitic… …   Etymology dictionary

  • elephant — UK US /ˈelɪfənt/ noun [C] INFORMAL ► a very large organization, often one that is slow to do things or react to events: »The elephant banks were once thought to be too large to fail. → Compare GAZELLE(Cf. ↑gazelle) → See also …   Financial and business terms

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