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[rahy-nos-er-uh s] /raɪˈnɒs ər əs/
noun, plural rhinoceroses (especially collectively) rhinoceros.
any of several large, thick-skinned, perissodactyl mammals of the family Rhinocerotidae, of Africa and India, having one or two upright horns on the snout: all rhinoceroses are endangered.
Douay Bible. unicorn (def 4).
Origin of rhinoceros
1300-50; Middle English rinoceros < Late Latin rhīnoceros < Greek rhīnókerōs, equivalent to rhīno- rhino- + -kerōs -horned, adj. derivative of kéras horn (of an animal) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for rhinoceros
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The rhinoceros, the elephant, and even the buffalo can often be turned aside by a shot.

    The Land of Footprints Stewart Edward White
  • It did not need Mali-ya-bwana's whispered "faru" (rhinoceros) to identify the mound.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • The rhinoceros rolled over and over, like a shot rabbit, kicked for a moment, and came to his feet.

    The Land of Footprints Stewart Edward White
  • In the matter of rhinoceros and similar dangers, they simply took a chance.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • They generally carry a sjambok, a strip of rhinoceros hide about three feet long and an inch thick.

British Dictionary definitions for rhinoceros


/raɪˈnɒsərəs; -ˈnɒsrəs/
noun (pl) -oses, -os
any of several perissodactyl mammals constituting the family Rhinocerotidae of SE Asia and Africa and having either one horn on the nose, like the Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), or two horns, like the African white rhinoceros (Diceros simus) They have a very thick skin, massive body, and three digits on each foot
Derived Forms
rhinocerotic (ˌraɪnəʊsɪˈrɒtɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C13: via Latin from Greek rhinokerōs, from rhis nose + keras horn
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 rhinoceros

c.1300, from Latin rhinoceros, from Greek rhinokeros, literally "nose-horned," from rhinos "nose" (a word of unknown origin) + keras "horn" (see kerato-). Related: Rhinocerotic.

What is the plural of rhinoceros? ... Well, Liddell and Scott seem to authorize 'rhinocerotes,' which is pedantic, but 'rhinoceroses' is not euphonious. [Sir Charles Eliot, "The East Africa Protectorate," 1905]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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