[mam-uh th] /ˈmæm əθ/

any large, elephantlike mammal of the extinct genus Mammuthus, from the Pleistocene Epoch, having hairy skin and ridged molar teeth.
immensely large; huge; enormous:
a mammoth organization.
any large extinct elephant of the Pleistocene genus Mammuthus (or Elephas), such as M. primigenius (woolly mammoth), having a hairy coat and long curved tusks
of gigantic size or importance

1706, from Russian mammot’, probably from Ostyak, a Finno-Ugric language of northern Russia (cf. Finnish maa “earth”). Because the remains were dug from the earth, the animal was believed to root like a mole. As an adjective, “gigantic,” from 1802; in this sense “the word appears to be originally American” [Thornton, “American Glossary”], and its first uses are in derogatory accounts to the cheese wheel, more than 4 feet in diameter, sent to President Jefferson by the ladies of the Baptist congregation in Cheshire, Mass., as a present, engraved with the motto “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” Federalist editors mocked the affair, and called up the word mammoth (known from Peale’s exhibition) to characterize it.
Any of various extinct elephants of the genus Mammuthus, having long, upwardly curving tusks and thick hair. Mammoths grew to great size and lived throughout the Northern Hemisphere during the Ice Age.


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