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platypus

[plat-i-puh s, -poo s] /ˈplæt ɪ pəs, -ˌpʊs/
noun, plural platypuses, platypi
[plat-i-pahy] /ˈplæt ɪˌpaɪ/ (Show IPA)
1.
a small, aquatic, egg-laying monotreme, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, of Australia and Tasmania, having webbed feet, a tail like that of a beaver, a sensitive bill resembling that of a duck, and, in adult males, venom-injecting spurs on the ankles of the hind limbs, used primarily for fighting with other males during the breeding season.
Also called duckbill, duckbilled platypus.
Origin
1790-1800
1790-1800; < Neo-Latin < Greek platýpous flat-footed, equivalent to platy- platy- + -pous, adj. derivative of poús foot
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for platypus
  • The platypus and alligator are remnants of these transitions.
  • As you're following the river, look out for platypus, fish and turtles from the viewing deck.
  • Human sleep could develop as far beyond typical mammalian sleep as human thought transcends the platypus'.
  • The platypus of audio-video waddled ashore recently.
  • Turning it into a mutant duck-billed platypus would be a mistake.
  • But for the platypus, the story is a bit more complicated.
  • But the platypus turns out to be a great example of how species can evolve by losing genes.
British Dictionary definitions for platypus

platypus

/ˈplætɪpəs/
noun (pl) -puses
Word Origin
C18: New Latin, from platy- + -pus, from Greek pous foot
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for platypus
n.

Australian duck-mole, 1799, from Modern Latin, from Greek platypous, literally "flat-footed," from platys "broad, flat" (see plaice (n.)) + pous "foot" (see foot).

Orig. the generic name, but, having already been given to a genus of beetles, it was in 1800 changed for Ornithorhyncus. [OED]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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