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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Elephant


EL'EPHANT, noun [Latin elephas, elephantus; probably from the Heb. a leader or chief, the chief or great animal.]

1. The largest of all quadrupeds, belonging to the order of Bruta. This animal has no foreteeth in either jaw; the canine-teeth are very long; and he has a long proboscis or trunk, by which he conveys food and drink to his mouth. The largest of these animals is about 16 feet long and 14 feet high; but smaller varieties are not more than seven feet high. The eyes are small and the feet short, round, clumsy, and distinguishable only by the toes. The trunk is a cartilaginous and muscular tube, extending from the upper jaw, and is seven or eight feet in length. The general shape of his body resembles that of swine. His skin is rugged, and his hair thin, The two large tusks are of a yellowish color, and extremely hard. The bony substance of these is called ivory. The elephant is 30 years in coming to his full growth, and he lives to 150 or 200 years of age. Elephants are natives of the warm climates of Africa and Asia, where they are employed as beasts of burden. They were formerly used in war.

2. Ivory; the tusk of the elephant