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tiger, noun

Forms:
tigre, tijgerShow more Also tigre, tijger, tyger.
Origin:
EnglishShow more Transferred use of general English tiger a name for the Asian mammal Panthera tigris.
obs. except in historical contexts
1. [Influenced by Dutch tijger tiger, leopard.] The leopard, Panthera pardus of the Felidae; African tiger, see African adjective1 sense 1 b i; berg-tiger, see berg sense 1 b ii; Cape tiger, see Cape sense 2 a. Also attributive. See also Lion and Tyger. Cf. tiger-cat.
1655 E. Terry Voy. to E.-India (1777) 15This remotest part of Africa is very mountainous, over-run with wild beasts, as lions, tigers, wolves, and many other beasts of prey.
1989 B. Godbold Autobiography. 30Leopards were always referred to as ‘tigers’, the Dutch custom, hence ‘Tiger Flats’.
2. Elliptical for:
a. The tigerfish (sense 2 b), Pomadasys commersonnii.
1930 C.L. Biden Sea-Angling Fishes 241The fish resembles the white steenbras and the grunter (the Port Elizabeth ‘tiger’..) in frequenting shallows where freshets run into the sea.
1979 [see knorhaan sense 2].
b. The tigerfish (sense 1), Hydrocynus vittatus.
1971 Personality 5 Mar. 16The barbel, often too large to lift from the water, break the monotony and strain of the fighting tigers.
1973 E. Prov. Herald 1 Mar. 4Heaviest edible (rivers). D.O. Jones, tiger, 3,7kg.
The leopard, Panthera pardus of the Felidae; African tiger, see Africanadjective1 b i; berg-tiger, see berg1 b ii; Cape tiger, see Cape2 a. Also attributive.
The tigerfish (sense 2 b), Pomadasys commersonnii.
The tigerfish (sense 1), Hydrocynus vittatus.

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16551989