silverback (plural silverbacks)
- (mammalogy) A mature male of the several species of chimpanzees and gorillas, so named from the silver streaking on its back.
- (informal, by extension) A dominant older human male.
- 2001, Peter Burke, New Perspectives on Historical Writing, page 145:
- Courageously (given Ranger's status in Mugabe's Zimbabwe, and his status as a silverback in North Atlantic Academe), Kriger dissents from their arguments.
- 2003, Andrew W. Greeley, The Bishop goes to the University, page 121:
- "Have you met Professor Dolan, Bishop Blackie?" an Asian child with a beatifically innocent face asked me. "Is he that skinny silverback ape down on the first floor?"
- 2008, Wendy Williams, Cape Wind: Celebrity, Energy, Class, Politics, and the Battle for Our Energy Future, page 127:
- "That's peanuts. I'm talking about real money," replied [Senator] Ted [Kennedy], who in fact had no idea how much the developer would pay, as that detail had yet to be worked out. / "What are your other main reasons?" Liedell asked, persisting with the old silverback.
mature male gorilla