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pterodactyl

[ter-uh-dak-til] /ˌtɛr əˈdæk tɪl/
noun
1.
any of a number of genera of flying reptiles of the extinct order Pterosauria, from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, having a highly reduced tail and teeth and a birdlike beak.
Origin
1820-1830
1820-30; < Neo-Latin Pterodactylus genus name, equivalent to Greek pteró(n) wing + -daktylos -dactylous
Related forms
pterodactylic, pterodactylous, adjective
pterodactylid, adjective, noun
pterodactyloid, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for pterodactyl
  • The evolutionary life of the nation-state will turn out to be far shorter than that of the pterodactyl.
  • The same could be said for bat wings, bird wings, and pterodactyl wings.
  • Its large form was unmistakable, reminiscent of a pterodactyl.
  • It's almost prehistoric, something you imagine a pterodactyl would make.
British Dictionary definitions for pterodactyl

pterodactyl

/ˌtɛrəˈdæktɪl/
noun
1.
any extinct flying reptile of the genus Pterodactylus and related genera, having membranous wings supported on an elongated fourth digit See also pterosaur
Word Origin
C19: from ptero- + Greek daktulos finger
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 pterodactyl
n.

extinct flying reptile, 1830, from French ptérodactyle (1821), from Modern Latin genus name Pterodactylus, from Greek pteron "wing" (see ptero-) + daktylos "finger" (see dactyl).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pterodactyl in Science
pterodactyl
  (těr'ə-dāk'təl)   

Any of various small, extinct flying reptiles (pterosaurs) of the genus Pterodactylus of the late Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods. Pterodactyls had long, narrow jaws with sharp teeth, and a wingspan of 1 m (3.3 ft) or less.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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