Definition of elephant noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈelɪfənt//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈelɪfənt//
Wild mammals
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  • a very large animal with thick grey skin, large ears, two curved outer teeth called tusks and a long nose called a trunk. There are two types of elephant, the African and the Asian. herds of elephants/elephant herds a baby elephant a conservationist who cares for orphaned elephants see also white elephant See related entries: Wild mammals
  • Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French elefant, via Latin from Greek elephas, elephant- ‘ivory, elephant’.Idioms
    the elephant in the room
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    a problem or question that everyone knows about but does not mention because it is easier not to discuss it The elephant in the room was the money that had to be paid in bribes. There’s a big elephant in the room and it’s gun control.
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: elephant