Polypterus

noun

Po·​lyp·​ter·​us
pəˈliptərəs
: the type genus of Polypteridae that comprises primitive fishes of the larger rivers of tropical Africa having an elongate body covered with rhombic enameled scales, a dorsal fin reduced to a series of finlets, pectoral fins taking the form of a rounded lobe supported on a short arm, and an air bladder functioning as an accessory breathing organ see bichir, erpetoichthys

Word History

Etymology

New Latin, from Greek polypteros many-winged, from poly- + -pteros -winged (from pteron wing, feather

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Dictionary Entries Near Polypterus

Cite this Entry

“Polypterus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Polypterus. Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Fashionable Words

  • dog-sunglasses-scarf
  • Which of these items is named for a deadly weapon?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY