1. Any of various large aquatic reptiles of the family Crocodylidae that are native to tropical and subtropical regions and have thick, armorlike skin and long tapering jaws.
2. A crocodilian reptile, such as an alligator, caiman, or gharial.
3. Leather made from crocodile skin.
4. Chiefly British A line of people, especially pupils or choir members, standing two abreast.
[Alteration of Middle English cocodril, from Old French, from Latin cocodrillus, variant of crocodīlus, from Greek krokodīlos (originally an Ionic Greek dialectal word for a kind of lizard living in stone walls, later applied to the crocodile by Ionian visitors to Egypt), possibly dissimilated from *krokodrīlos (literally, “pebble worm”) : Greek krokē, pebble (perhaps akin to Sanskrit śarkarā, grit; see SUGAR) + drīlos, attested in the meaning “circumcised man” but probably originally meaning “worm” and akin to dialectal Greek (Elis) drilax, leech, of unknown origin.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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