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'.