the earliest known horse, a member of the extinct genus Hyracotherium (Eohippus ), from the early Eocene Epoch of the Northern Hemisphere; a terrier-sized herbivore having four hoofed toes on each forefoot and three on each hind foot, and low-crowned teeth.
Also called dawn horse, hyracotherium, hyracothere.

1875–80; < Neo-Latin, equivalent to eo- eo- + Greek híppos horse

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noun, plural hyracotheria [hahy-ruh-koh-theer-ee-uh] .
Also, hyracothere.

< Neo-Latin (1840): a genus name; see hyrax, -o-, -there

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World English Dictionary
eohippus (ˌiːəʊˈhɪpəs)
n , pl -puses
the earliest horse: an extinct Eocene dog-sized animal of the genus with four-toed forelegs, three-toed hindlegs, and teeth specialized for browsing
[C19: New Latin, from eo- + Greek hippos horse]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"oldest known genus of the horse family," 1879, from Mod.L., from Gk. eos (see eo-) + hippos "horse."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
eohippus   (ē'ō-hĭp'əs)  Pronunciation Key 
See hyracotherium.
hyracotherium   (hī'rə-kō-thîr'ē-əm)  Pronunciation Key 
Plural hyracotheria
A small primitive horse that lived about 50 million years ago during the early Eocene Epoch. It had three or four hoofed toes on each foot and is considered by some to be the ancestor of modern horses. It is sometimes called the "dawn horse," a translation of its earlier scientific name, Eohippus.
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