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

The armadillo is also the mascot of Oruro’s soccer team. Rachel Fobar, National Geographic, "Endangered armadillos are being turned into carnival rattles," 22 Feb. 2019 This weight difference is equivalent to that between a humpback whale and an armadillo. Jean Creighton, Quartz, "These innovations from the Moon landing changed life on Earth," 19 July 2019 There are guitar forerunners here: an oud, a theorbo, a charrango (with a soundbox made of armadillo skin). Mark Feeney,, "Guitars, stars, and attitude," 11 July 2019 That same year Chavkin acquired a tattoo of an armadillo with its front claws removed. Barbara Isenberg,, "'Hadestown' director Rachel Chavkin's tattoos: an annotated guide," 5 June 2019 An armadillo, a praying mantis and a snake have appeared. Christopher Arnott,, "Review: Inside Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Luzia’ tent, you’ll find pure enchantment," 20 June 2019 Board a boat at Atalaya and cruise even deeper into the rainforest, on the lookout for monkeys, giant anteaters, tapirs, ocelots, armadillos, peccaries, caimans, and the numerous bird species that inhabit Manú National Park. National Geographic, "Peru & the Amazon High School Expedition," 12 June 2019 On a recent tour of Mr. Glover’s estate, small black crabs scuttled out from under the leaves on the driveway and an armadillo darted from behind a tree. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "The Secluded Island Hideaways for America’s Rich and Famous," 23 Aug. 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about armadillo

Statistics for armadillo

Last Updated

14 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for armadillo

The first known use of armadillo was in 1577

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for armadillo



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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on armadillo

What made you want to look up armadillo? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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