Definition of pterodactyl in English:

pterodactyl

Syllabification: pter·o·dac·tyl
Pronunciation: /ˌterəˈdaktəl
 
/

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
    More 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.
    More 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'.

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Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
noun
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody