her·​biv·​o·​rous | \ ˌ(h)ər-ˈbiv-rəs How to pronounce herbivorous (audio) , -ˈbi-və- \

Definition of herbivorous

: feeding on plants

Other Words from herbivorous

herbivory \ ˌ(h)ər-​ˈbi-​və-​rē How to pronounce herbivorous (audio) \ noun

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Many herbivorous animals, such as rabbits, deer, sheep, and cows, are noted for their gentle and passive ways. But such behavior is not universal among herbivores. Rhinoceroses and elephants, for instance, are capable of inflicting serious damage if threatened, and among dinosaurs, the herbivorous Diplodocus had a thick tail that could be used as a lethal weapon against attacking carnivores. Herbivorous humans are usually called vegetarians.

Examples of herbivorous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The ancient fossil belongs to a stegosaur, an herbivorous dinosaur with a tiny head and bony plates marching down its back, ending in a spiked tail. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 3 Mar. 2022 That’s the conclusion of a new study that investigated the social habits of a long-necked, herbivorous dinosaur called Mussaurus that lived around 200 million years ago. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Dec. 2021 This new finding comes just a month after the announcement of another new species found on the Isle of Wight, the iguanodontian, a 26-foot-long herbivorous dinosaur. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, 22 Dec. 2021 It is consumed by herbivorous fish, which are then eaten by larger fish. Sarah Burchard, Forbes, 10 Dec. 2021 Mussaurus was a type of dinosaur called a sauropodomorph, which represented the first great success story among herbivorous dinosaurs. Reuters, CNN, 22 Oct. 2021 His team has previously made headlines worldwide with their 2018 discovery of Mansourasaurus, a new species of long-necked herbivorous dinosaurs that lived in the Nile Delta province of Mansoura. Noha Elhennawy, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 Sep. 2021 This discovery could help piece together the evolutionary timeline of sauropodomorphs, a clade of long-necked, herbivorous dinosaurs that includes M. patagonicus, according to the press release. Rasha Aridi, Smithsonian Magazine, 26 Oct. 2021 The herbivorous animals could reach up to 5,500 kilograms (866 stone) and 9 meters (29 feet) in length. Amy Woodyatt, CNN, 1 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'herbivorous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of herbivorous

1661, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for herbivorous

New Latin herbivorus, from Latin herba grass + -vorus -vorous

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The first known use of herbivorous was in 1661

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Cite this Entry

“Herbivorous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/herbivorous. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for herbivorous


her·​biv·​o·​rous | \ ˌhər-ˈbi-və-rəs How to pronounce herbivorous (audio) , ˌər-ˈbi- \

Kids Definition of herbivorous

: feeding on plants


her·​biv·​o·​rous | \ ˌ(h)ər-ˈbiv-ə-rəs How to pronounce herbivorous (audio) \

Medical Definition of herbivorous

1 : feeding on plants herbivorous mammals
2 : having a stout body and a long small intestine : endomorphic

Other Words from herbivorous

herbivorously adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on herbivorous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for herbivorous

Nglish: Translation of herbivorous for Spanish Speakers


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