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 Last Tuesday, just four days after the robbery, Jude and Tristan opened their lemonade stand for business once again, and welcomed dozens of customers — as well as a police armadillo truck followed by 15 police cars. Eric Todisco,, "Community Helps Raise Nearly $4K for Teens After Their Lemonade Stand Was Robbed at Gunpoint," 17 Aug. 2020 Scientists believe the virus may have originated in bats and was transmitted to another mammal such as a civet cat or an armadillo-like pangolin before being passed on to people. NBC News, "WHO experts head to China to investigate origins of COVID-19," 10 July 2020 Break out the foosball table, the holiday armadillo, the traditional English trifle, and the smelly cats. Glamour, "The Friends Reunion Is Really Happening—Here’s Everything We Know," 7 July 2020 China is ordering its highest level of protection for the armadillo-like pangolin as part of its crackdown on the wildlife trade following the global pandemic. Ken Dilanian, NBC News, "Outbreak may transform the way America's spies do their jobs," 6 June 2020 Breakout the foosball table, the holiday armadillo, the traditional English trifle, and the smelly cats. Glamour, "The Friends Reunion Is Really Happening—Here’s Everything We Know," 13 May 2020 There’s a couple people that come by several times a day to say hi to the baboon and check in on the armadillo. oregonlive, "Drive-by ‘zoo’ pops up in Portland’s Alberta neighborhood," 25 Apr. 2020 What might the future hold for Andean hairy armadillos? Rachel Fobar, National Geographic, "Endangered armadillos are being turned into carnival rattles," 22 Feb. 2019 The attraction of that house was this armadillo that would appear from time to time on the deck. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: NCAA softens name, image and likeness stance, and chaos will follow," 29 Apr. 2020

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

borrowed from Spanish, noun derivative, with -illo, diminutive suffix, of armado, past participle of armar "to arm," going back to Latin armāre — more at arm entry 2

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Time Traveler for armadillo

Time Traveler

The first known use of armadillo was in 1577

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Last Updated

3 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Armadillo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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How to pronounce armadillo (audio)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on armadillo

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

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