car·​niv·​o·​ran kär-ˈni-və-rən How to pronounce carnivoran (audio)
plural carnivorans
: any of an order (Carnivora) of placental mammals that possess bladelike carnassial teeth and feed primarily or exclusively on animal matter

Note: While many carnivorans (such as wolves, hyenas, and badgers) are carnivorous in habit, there are others (such as brown bears and raccoons) that are omnivorous and even some (such as the giant panda) that are primarily herbivorous in habit.

Examples of carnivoran in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web A lot of carnivorans retain molars behind the slicing pair that can grind up stuff such as vegetation. Kate Wong, Scientific American, 4 Oct. 2023 But against the context of the competitive nature of Ice Age ecology, the fact that Homotherium made an underground den is cunning carnivoran strategy. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 June 2021

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

Word History

First Known Use

1969, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of carnivoran was in 1969

Dictionary Entries Near carnivoran

Cite this Entry

“Carnivoran.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

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