Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


A c. 1890 illustration by Henri-Paul Motte of Carthaginian war elephants engaging Roman infantry at the Battle of Zama (fought around 19 October 202 B.C.E.), which marked the end of the Second Punic War


elephant +‎ -ry, by analogy with infantry.



elephantry (plural elephantries)

  1. (military, historical) That branch of an army that uses elephants.
    • 1747 February 5, “Nº 83. Thursday, February 5, 1747”, in The Fool: Being a Collection of Essays and Epistles, Moral, Political, Humourous[sic], and Entertaining. Published in the Daily Gazetteer. With the Author's Preface, and a Complete Index, volume II, London: Printed, and sold, by Nutt, Cooke and Kingman, at the Royal Exchange; [et al.], published 1748, OCLC 938735995, pages 258–259:
      But, juſt before we took the Field, we demoliſhed our Elephantry, and to be more on a Level with the Baboons, introduced Monkies upon lean Cats, and thoſe too a little wild, becauſe we could maintain them very cheap, Monkies being content with Nuts, and Cats with any Thing.
    • 1889, William W[otherspoon] Ireland, Through the Ivory Gate: Studies in Psychology and History, Edinburgh: Bell & Bradfute, 12 Bank Street; London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co., and Hamilton, Adams & Co., OCLC 8143034, page 309:
      The king replied in a proclamation to his subjects that he was going to appear in person "with large forces of infantry, artillery, elephantry, and cavalry, by land and water, and with the might of his army efface these heretic Kalas, and annex their country."
    • 2003, Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa, Generalissimo Chilarai and His Times: A Historical Biography, 2nd edition, Ghy, Assam, India: Vikram Publishers, OCLC 54074022, page 390:
      The elephantry always preceded the army and was primarily used to clear the road, demolish enemy forts, launch night attacks and for defending their own forts and in transporting war materials.
    • 2005, K. K. Sinha, “A Brief History of the Ancient Indian Achievements”, in Oriental and Western Science and Cosmology, Mumbai: Allied Publishers, →ISBN, page 31:
      Ashok maintained a large army (infantry) more than nine lakhs, a few thousand cavalries and elephantries.

Coordinate terms[edit]