800-pound gorilla

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800-pound gorilla

A person, group, or organization so powerful (either by size or by influence) that it does not need to heed the rules or threats of others. It refers to the riddle "Where does an 800-pound gorilla sit?" (Answer: "Wherever it likes.") Primarily heard in US. Don't mess with that guy; he's like an 800-pound gorilla! These big corporations act like 800-pound gorillas, making up the rules to suit themselves.
See also: gorilla
References in classic literature ?
Thus from 100 gulden my store had grown to 800! Upon that such a curious, such an inexplicable, unwonted feeling overcame me that I decided to depart.
Nonetheless she insisted that I ought to go halves with her in the day's winnings, and offered me 800 gulden on condition that henceforth, I gambled only on those terms; but I refused to do so, once and for all--stating, as my reason, that I found myself unable to play on behalf of any one else, "I am not unwilling so to do," I added, "but in all probability I should lose."
He wrote "800 rubles" on a card, but while the waiter filled his glass he changed his mind and altered it to his usual stake of twenty rubles.
He laid down the seven of hearts, on which with a broken bit of chalk he had written "800 rubles" in clear upright figures; he emptied the glass of warm champagne that was handed him, smiled at Dolokhov's words, and with a sinking heart, waiting for a seven to turn up, gazed at Dolokhov's hands which held the pack.
The Rodman Columbiad threw a shot weighing half a ton a distance of six miles, with a velocity of 800 yards per second-- a result which Armstrong and Palisser have never obtained in England."
We must take, then, for our starting point, this velocity of 800 yards.
I am getting 800 pounds a year, and only fancy it, he says he'll see that the directors make me a special grant.
Another, by a slight curve, furrowed the "Sea of Nectar," breaking against the chain of Pyrenees, after a circuit of 800 miles.
You will see that by these figures: We touched a trifle over 700 of the 800 patients; at former rates, this would have cost the government about
The white glimmer came in rays from the summit of a mountain about 800 feet high.
In Fayal they pointed out a hill and told him it was 800 feet high and 1,100 feet long.
In central Chile I was astonished at the structure of a vast mound of detritus, about 800 feet in height, crossing a valley of the Andes; and this I now feel convinced was a gigantic moraine, left far below any existing glacier.
"Now, madame," continued Debray, first opening the closet, then the chest; -- "now, madame, here are 800 notes of 1,000 francs each, resembling, as you see, a large book bound in iron; to this I add a certificate in the funds of 25,000 francs; then, for the odd cash, making I think about 110,000 francs, here is a check upon my banker, who, not being M.
The plain, though appearing horizontal, had insensibly sloped up to a height of between 800 and 900 feet above the sea.
Next in order after Gildas, but not until about the year 800, appears a strangely jumbled document, last edited by a certain Nennius, and entitled