El"e*phant(l"*fnt), n. [OE. elefaunt, olifant, OF. olifant, F. lphant, 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. (Zol.) 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.
2. Ivory; the tusk of the elephant.
(Bot.), an East Indian fruit with a rough, hard rind, and edible pulp, borne by Feronia elephantum, a large tree related to the orange. --
(Geol.), at Brighton, England, abounding in fossil remains of elephants.
(Zol.), any very large beetle of the genus Goliathus (esp. G. giganteus), of the family Scarabid. They inhabit West Africa. --
(Zol.), a chimroid fish (Callorhynchus antarcticus), with a proboscis-like projection of the snout. --
Elephant paper, paper of large size, 23 28 inches. --
Double elephant paper, paper measuring 26 40 inches. See Note under Paper. --
(Zol.), an African jumping shrew (Macroscelides typicus), having a long nose like a proboscis. --
(Bot.), a name given to certain species of the genus Begonia, which have immense one-sided leaves. --
(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. --
(Zol.), the tooth shell. See Dentalium.
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Tue 22nd September 2020