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[ahr-muh-dil-oh] /ˌɑr məˈdɪl oʊ/
noun, plural armadillos.
any of several burrowing, chiefly nocturnal mammals constituting the family Dasypodidae, ranging from the southern U.S. through South America, having strong claws and a jointed protective covering of bony plates: used in certain areas for food.
Origin of armadillo
1570-80; < Spanish, equivalent to armad(o) armed (< Latin armātus; see arm2, -ate1) + -illo < Latin -illus diminutive suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for armadillo
  • armadillo, on the other hand, is a mammal whose marinated meat is highly appreciated in the southeastern region.
  • Nutritionists must alter diets whenever an otter isn't eating his biscuits or an armadillo has a peanut allergy.
  • It is also home to several wildlife species, including the armadillo and the gray fox.
  • The curious and daring may also want to try such delicacies as armadillo, turtle eggs and lizards.
  • For wildlife enthusiasts there is a variety of species that inhabit the park including white-tailed deer, ducks and armadillo.
  • As it turned out, the possibility of an armadillo-fueled epidemic was extremely remote.
British Dictionary definitions for armadillo


noun (pl) -los
any edentate mammal of the family Dasypodidae of Central and South America and S North America, such as Priodontes giganteus (giant armadillo). They are burrowing animals, with peglike rootless teeth and a covering of strong horny plates over most of the body
fairy armadillo, another name for pichiciego
Word Origin
C16: from Spanish, diminutive of armado armed (man), from Latin armātus armed; compare armada
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 armadillo

1570s, from Spanish armadillo, diminutive of armado "armored," from Latin armatus, past participle of armare "to arm" (see arm (n.2)). So called for its hard, plated shell.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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