(4 syl.). Heavy and ungainly, like an elephant. In Rome, the
registers of the senate, magistrates, generals, and emperors were
called elephantine books, because they were made of ivory. In geology,
the elephantine period was that noted for its numerous large
thick-skinned animals. The disease called elephantiasis is when
the limbs swell and look like those of an elephant more than those of a
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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