Al"li*ga`tor (#), n. [Sp. el lagarto the lizard (el lagarto de Indias, the cayman or American crocodile), fr. L. lacertus, lacerta, lizard. See Lizard.]
A large carnivorous reptile of the Crocodile family, peculiar to America. It has a shorter and broader snout than the crocodile, and the large teeth of the lower jaw shut into pits in the upper jaw, which has no marginal notches. Besides the common species of the southern United States, there are allied species in South America.
Any machine with strong jaws, one of which opens like the movable jaw of an alligator
; as, (a) Metal Working
a form of squeezer for the puddle ball
; (b) Mining
a rock breaker
; (c) Printing
a kind of job press, called also alligator press.
Alligator apple Bot., the fruit of the Anona palustris, a West Indian tree. It is said to be narcotic in its properties. Loudon. -- Alligator fish Zool., a marine fish of northwestern America (Podothecus acipenserinus). -- Alligator gar Zool., one of the gar pikes (Lepidosteus spatula) found in the southern rivers of the United States. The name is also applied to other species of gar pikes. -- Alligator pear Bot., a corruption of Avocado pear. See Avocado. -- Alligator snapper, Alligator tortoise, Alligator turtle Zool., a very large and voracious turtle (Macrochelys lacertina) in habiting the rivers of the southern United States. It sometimes reaches the weight of two hundred pounds. Unlike the common snapping turtle, to which the name is sometimes erroneously applied, it has a scaly head and many small scales beneath the tail. This name is sometimes given to other turtles, as to species of Trionyx. -- Alligator wood, the timber of a tree of the West Indies (Guarea Swartzii).
© Webster 1913.