ar·​tio·​dac·​tyl ˌär-tē-ō-ˈdak-tᵊl How to pronounce artiodactyl (audio)
: any of an order (Artiodactyla) of ungulates (such as the camel or pig) with an even number of functional toes on each foot
artiodactyl adjective

Examples of artiodactyl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web To understand this variation, researchers compared the habitats and behavior of 63 species, including members of every living artiodactyl group except hippos and whales. Nala Rogers, Discover Magazine, 15 Nov. 2018

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

Word History


from the base of New Latin Artiodactyla, division of ungulates, from Greek ártios "right, fitting, even (of numbers)" (derivative from árti "just now," arti- "fitting, correct") + -o- -o- + New Latin -dactyla, neuter plural of -dactylus "having digits (of the kind specified)," borrowed from Greek -daktylos, adjective derivative of dáktylos "finger, toe" — more at art entry 1, dactyl

Note: The taxon Artiodactyla was introduced, along with Perissodactyla (see perissodactyl), by the British biologist and paleontologist Richard Owen (1804-92) in "Description of Teeth and portions of Jaws of two extinct Anthracotherioid Quadrupeds … with an attempt to develop cuvier's idea of the Classification of Pachyderms by the Number of their Toes," communication of November 3, 1847, published in The Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London, vol. 4 (1848), pp. 103-41.

First Known Use

1848, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of artiodactyl was in 1848

Dictionary Entries Near artiodactyl

Cite this Entry

“Artiodactyl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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