Definition of hippopotamus in English:


Line breaks: hippo|pot¦amus
Pronunciation: /ˌhɪpəˈpɒtəməs

noun (plural hippopotamuses or hippopotami /-mʌɪ/)

A large thick-skinned semiaquatic African mammal, with massive jaws and large tusks.
More example sentences
  • Arriving in step with East African flora were the creatures of the East African savannas: gazelle, giant deer, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, wart hog.
  • The Cape Colony extended systematic protection to elephants, giraffes, hippopotami, buffalo, zebras, quaggas and antelopes in 1886.
  • Animals with relatively short distal bones, such as elephants and hippopotamuses, have more columnar legs and do little running.


Middle English: via Latin from Greek hippopotamos, earlier hippos ho potamios 'river horse' (from hippos 'horse', potamos 'river').

Definition of hippopotamus in: