cer·​a·​top·​sian ˌser-ə-ˈtäp-sē-ən How to pronounce ceratopsian (audio)
: any of a suborder (Ceratopsia) of ornithischian dinosaurs of the Late Cretaceous having horns, a sharp horny beak, and a bony frill projecting backward from the skull
ceratopsian adjective

Examples of ceratopsian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Despite its fierce appearance, this famous ceratopsian, or horned dinosaur, was an herbivore. Amy McKeever, National Geographic, 14 Sep. 2020 Dino Hunters With winter looming, Clayton and Luke race to excavate two massive triceratops skulls, while the Harris-Bolan crew searches for a missing femur from their rare ceratopsian. Los Angeles Times, 3 Sep. 2021 The dinosaur belonged to the ceratopsians, which were plant-eaters that included the iconic Triceratops. Fox News, 1 May 2020 A few months later, amateur paleontologist Clayton Phipps discovered a 22-foot-long carnivorous theropod and a 28-foot-long plant-eating ceratopsian believed to have died 66 million years ago. Amy Beth Hanson, SFChronicle.com, 9 Nov. 2019

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

Word History


New Latin Ceratopsia, from Ceratops, a genus, from Greek kerat-, keras horn + ōps face — more at horn, eye

First Known Use

1909, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ceratopsian was in 1909

Dictionary Entries Near ceratopsian

Cite this Entry

“Ceratopsian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ceratopsian. Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

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