Dictionary

rhinoceros

noun rhi·noc·er·os \rī-ˈnäs-rəs, rə-, -ˈnä-sə-\

: a large, heavy animal of Africa and Asia that has thick skin and either one or two large horns on its nose

plural rhi·noc·er·os·es also rhi·noc·er·os or -noc·eri \-ˈnä-sə-ˌrī\

Full Definition of RHINOCEROS

:  any of a family (Rhinocerotidae) of large heavyset herbivorous perissodactyl mammals of Africa and Asia that have one or two upright keratinous horns on the snout and thick gray to brown skin with little hair

Illustration of RHINOCEROS

Origin of RHINOCEROS

Middle English rinoceros, from Anglo-French, from Latin rhinocerot-, rhinoceros, from Greek rhinokerōt-, rhinokerōs, from rhin- + keras horn — more at horn
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Mammals Terms

dormouse, dugong, gibbon, grimalkin, sable, stoat, ungulate, vole
RHINOCEROSES Defined for Kids

rhinoceros

noun rhi·noc·er·os \rī-ˈnä-sə-rəs\
plural rhi·noc·er·os·es also rhinoceros

Definition of RHINOCEROS for Kids

:  a large plant-eating mammal of Africa and Asia with short legs, thick gray to brown skin with little hair, and one or two heavy upright horns on the snout

Word History of RHINOCEROS

The ancient Greeks were familiar with the African species of rhinoceros and called the animal in Greek monokerōs, one-horned, and more commonly rhinokerōs, nose-horned. Nose-horned is a more or less accurate description, because the horn does grow out of the nose, but one-horned is not, because both of the African species have two horns.

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July 27, 2015
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