Definition of armadillo in English:


Line breaks: ar¦ma|dillo
Pronunciation: /ˌɑːməˈdɪləʊ

noun (plural armadillos)

  • A nocturnal insectivorous mammal that has large claws for digging and a body covered in bony plates. Armadillos are native to Central and South America and one kind is spreading into the southern US.
    • Family Dasypodidae, order Xenarthra (or Edentata): several genera
    More example sentences
    • Peccaries, tapirs, anteaters, armadillos, sloths, coatis, and others are around but hard to see.
    • The sloths and armadillos are rather odd mammals characteristic of South America.
    • In South America, a group known as the Xenarthrans developed, today represented by the anteaters, sloths and armadillos.


late 16th century: from Spanish, diminutive of armado 'armed man', from Latin armatus, past participle of armare 'to arm'.

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