Cretaceous

adjective

Cre·​ta·​ceous kri-ˈtā-shəs How to pronounce Cretaceous (audio)
: of, relating to, or being the last period of the Mesozoic era characterized by continued dominance of reptiles, emergent dominance of angiosperms, diversification of mammals, and the extinction of many types of organisms at the close of the period
also : of, relating to, or being the corresponding system of rocks see Geologic Time Table
Cretaceous noun

Examples of Cretaceous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Using 200 fossils of flowers to add dates into the genealogy, the team pinpointed a great explosion in flowering plant diversity in the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous periods, when dinosaurs lived, starting around 150 million years ago. Veronique Greenwood, New York Times, 11 May 2024 The king of the dinosaurs may have not been the only Cretaceous carnivore to prey on its own kin. Alex Orlando, Discover Magazine, 1 May 2024 The Permian period spanned nearly fifty million years, the Cretaceous period eighty million. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 20 Apr. 2024 The dinosaur existed in the last age of the Cretaceous period known as Maastrichtian, researchers said in the CONICET release. Irene Wright, Miami Herald, 16 Apr. 2024 The Ceratosaurus is one of six dinosaurs in the Camp Cretaceous collection, which includes a T. rex, a Baryonyx, Ankylosaurus, and others. Ashley Ziegler, Parents, 13 Apr. 2024 Based on genetic analyses of different beetle lineages, McKenna and his colleagues have found evidence that a major factor spurring beetle diversity was the diversification of flowering plants during the Cretaceous period. Smithsonian Magazine, 10 Apr. 2024 For example, paleontologists discovered a sea turtle fossil in Colombia dating back at least 120 million years ago to the Cretaceous; meanwhile Odontochelys semitestacea, a fossil discovered in China, is a near-turtle relative dating back 220 million years ago. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 3 Apr. 2024 That means Cretaceous dinosaurs experienced a planet with 372 days in each year. Evan Bush, NBC News, 27 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Cretaceous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Latin cretaceus resembling chalk, from creta chalk

First Known Use

1832, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Cretaceous was in 1832

Dictionary Entries Near Cretaceous

Cite this Entry

“Cretaceous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Cretaceous. Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

Cretaceous

adjective
Cre·​ta·​ceous kri-ˈtā-shəs How to pronounce Cretaceous (audio)
: of, relating to, or being the last period of the Mesozoic era of geological history marked by the extinction of the dinosaurs at the close of the period
also : relating to the corresponding system of rocks see geologic time
Cretaceous noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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