ar·​ma·​dil·​lo | \ ˌär-mə-ˈdi-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce armadillo (audio) \
plural armadillos

Definition of armadillo

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

Illustration of armadillo

Illustration of armadillo

Examples of armadillo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Matte paper whispers under the fingers as the pages turn to show layered prints and etchings of monkeys and ferns; of the armadillo and the jaguar. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: Freakiness and Fortitude," 19 July 2018 All of California isn’t vegan with wild hair, just like all of Texas isn’t overly crazy conservative, southern or hick accents, riding horses and shooting armadillos. Emily Bloch, Teen Vogue, "Here's What Texas Stylists Have to Say About Ted Cruz's "Hair Dye" Comment," 10 Sep. 2018 There were massive mammoths three times bigger than modern-day elephants, giant ground sloths up to 20 feet in length, and strange, armadillo-like beasts known as glyptodons that were roughly the size of a VW bus. Deborah Netburn,, "The more humans spread, the smaller other mammals get. Elephants, rhinos and hippos had better watch out," 20 Apr. 2018 The armadillos were easy, but the ants required a bit of work. John Gray Singer, New York Times, "Gay Talese’s Ants," 10 June 2018 In the past, the only way researchers could get enough M. leprae for genetic studies was to infect mice and armadillos in lab—then wait a year. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Berserk leprosy bacteria are wildly mutating to become extremely drug resistant," 29 Jan. 2018 Alligator snapping turtles will eat just about anything, according to scientists: birds, mollusks, armadillos, opossums, fish and other turtles. Jared Gilmour, miamiherald, "Missing a finger? This man just found one — inside a snapping turtle, Louisiana cops say," 13 June 2018 Fuentes creates sculptures of armadillos, giraffes, cats, coyotes and other animals using simple hand tools and a piece of wood. Courant Community, "Community News For The East Hartford Edition," 17 Apr. 2018 Phoebe Smith, a seventh grader at Northley Middle School in Aston, finished in 11th place after misspelling cabalassou, which Merriam-Webster defines as a giant armadillo. Robert Moran,, "Girls from Cherry Hill, Aston fall short in final round of National Spelling Bee," 31 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'armadillo.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of armadillo

1577, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for armadillo

Spanish, from diminutive of armado armed one, from Latin armatus

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The first known use of armadillo was in 1577

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English Language Learners Definition of armadillo

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


ar·​ma·​dil·​lo | \ ˌär-mə-ˈdi-lō How to pronounce armadillo (audio) \
plural armadillos

Kids Definition of armadillo

: a small burrowing animal found from Texas to Argentina that has the head and body protected by small bony plates

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More from Merriam-Webster on armadillo

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with armadillo

Spanish Central: Translation of armadillo

Nglish: Translation of armadillo for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about armadillo

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