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pterodactyl

Syllabification: pter·o·dac·tyl
Pronunciation: /ˌterəˈdakt(ə)l
 
/

Definition of pterodactyl in English:

noun

1A pterosaur of the late Jurassic period, with a long slender head and neck and a very short tail.
  • Family Pterodactylidae, order Pterosauria: several genera, including Pterodactylus
Example sentences
  • Other anatomical features, such as attachment points for powerful neck muscles, support the idea that giant pterodactyls once plowed the waters for food.
  • Earlier, Witmer and others had performed a similar study on fossils of the flying reptiles called pterodactyls, which are not related to Archaeopteryx.
1.1(In general use) any pterosaur.
Example sentences
  • I decided on a pterodactyl, a dinosaur with a distinct advantage over most dinosaurs: the ability to fly like an eagle.
  • Based on widely accepted criteria, pterodactyls and other pterosaurs are not dinosaurs.
  • Birds, close cousins of pterodactyls, are believed to have evolved from theropod dinosaurs about 150 million years ago.

Origin

early 19th century: from modern Latin Pterodactylus (genus name), from Greek pteron 'wing' + daktulos 'finger'.

More
  • helicopter from (late 19th century):

    The first helicopter did not appear until the 1920s, but the word had already been invented by then, first of all in French—the science fiction writer Jules Verne wrote of a helicopter in The Clipper of the Clouds ( 1886). The French word was based on Greek helix ‘spiral’ and pteron ‘wing’, which gave us the name of the flying reptile the pterodactyl (early 19th century).

Words that rhyme with pterodactyl

dactyl

Definition of pterodactyl in:

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