avian dinosaur


plural avian dinosaurs
: a bird when considered as the survivor of a lineage of theropod dinosaurs
… thanks to a heap of lovely fossils, we now know that even the most fearsome of the tyrant dinosaurs were closely related to the avian dinosaurs—the birds that flit around our backyards today.Brian Switek
Hardly the embodiment of obsolescence, more than eighteen thousand species of avian dinosaurs flit, trod, and swim about our planet today.Kenneth Lacovara
compare non-avian dinosaur

Word History

First Known Use

1999, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of avian dinosaur was in 1999

Dictionary Entries Near avian dinosaur

Cite this Entry

“Avian dinosaur.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avian%20dinosaur. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

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