noun \ˌär-mə-ˈdi-(ˌ)lō\

: a small American animal that lives underground and whose head and body are protected by a hard shell

plural ar·ma·dil·los

Full Definition of ARMADILLO

:  any of a family (Dasypodidae) of burrowing edentate mammals found from the southern United States to Argentina and having the body and head encased in an armor of small bony plates

Illustration of ARMADILLO


Spanish, from diminutive of armado armed one, from Latin armatus
First Known Use: 1577

Rhymes with ARMADILLO


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus).—Appel Color Photography

Any of 20 species of armoured mammals (family Dasypodidae) related to sloths and anteaters. Armadillos are stout and short-legged, with strong, curved claws and a protective covering of pinkish to brown armour composed of bony plates covered with tough scales. The plates are separated by flexible bands of tissue. One species lives in the U.S., the others in tropical and subtropical regions to the south, primarily in South America. Most inhabit open areas, but some can be found in forests. Species range in size from about 6 in. (16 cm) to 5 ft (1.5 m) long. They live alone, in pairs, or in small groups and feed on termites or other insects, vegetation, small animals, and carrion.


Next Word in the Dictionary: armado
Previous Word in the Dictionary: Armadillidium
All Words Near: armadillo

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up armadillo? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).