di·​plod·​o·​cus də-ˈplä-də-kəs How to pronounce diplodocus (audio)
: any of a genus (Diplodocus) of large herbivorous sauropod dinosaurs of the Late Jurassic known from remains found in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and Utah

Examples of diplodocus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Plus, a line drawing of a diplodocus, the dinosaur from which Diplo takes his name. Jon M. Gilbertson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 23 June 2018 Although the replica of a diplodocus attained the status of an icon, the museum believed a real specimen better suited their mission to study and conserve the planet. Leonore Schick, Detroit Free Press, 14 July 2017

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

Word History


borrowed from New Latin, genus name, from diplo- diplo- + Greek dokós "beam, especially one supporting a roof or floor, bar" (perhaps, if original sense was "something receiving/accepting a load," nominal agentive derivative from déchesthai, dékesthai "to receive, welcome, accept," going back to an Indo-European verbal base *deḱ- "take up, accept, perceive"); so named from the double chevron bones forming part of the caudal vertebrae — more at decent

Note: The genus name was introduced by the American paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh (1831-99) in "Principal Characters of American Jurassic Dinosaurs. Part I," American Journal of Science and Arts, 3rd series, vol. 16, no. 95 (November, 1878), pp. 411-416. According to Marsh (p. 414), "It [Diplodocus] may be distinguished from the genera already known by the caudal vertebrae, which are elongated, deeply excavated below, and have double chevrons, with both anterior and posterior rami …To the last character, the generic name refers."

First Known Use

1884, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of diplodocus was in 1884

Dictionary Entries Near diplodocus

Cite this Entry

“Diplodocus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diplodocus. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


di·​plod·​o·​cus də-ˈpläd-ə-kəs How to pronounce diplodocus (audio)
: any of a genus of very large plant-eating dinosaurs known from fossils found in several western states of the U.S.

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