Definition of mastodon in English:


Syllabification: mas·to·don
Pronunciation: /ˈmastəˌdän


  • A large, extinct, elephantlike mammal of the Miocene to Pleistocene epochs, having teeth of a relatively primitive form and number.
    • Mammutidae and other families, order Proboscidea: many species, including the American mastodon (Mammut americanum), which possibly survived to historical times in North America
    More example sentences
    • All too often books written for a popular audience include animals such as mammoths, mastodons, plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs, and the sail-backed Dimetrodon.
    • Geologists say it probably once belonged to a woolly mammoth or a mastodon.
    • In lower latitudes, mastodons and elephants, giant deer and ox, beavers, dogs and cats, and other familiar species existed in the forests and grasslands.


early 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek mastos 'breast' + odous, odont- 'tooth' (with reference to nipple-shaped tubercles on the crowns of its molar teeth).

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