adjective, often capitalized
neo·​trop·​i·​cal | \ ˌnē-ō-ˈträ-pi-kəl How to pronounce neotropical (audio) \
variants: or less commonly neotropic \ ˌnē-​ō-​ˈträ-​pik How to pronounce neotropic (audio) \

Definition of neotropical

: of, relating to, or constituting the tropical New World biogeographic region that extends south, east, and west from the central plateau of Mexico

Examples of neotropical in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Panama has always played a crucial role in the movement and gene flow of numerous neotropical forest species. Debbie Ponchner, Scientific American, "Panama Risks Becoming A Broken Link in an Intercontinental Wildlife Route," 19 Aug. 2019 Caecilians can be found in tropical and neotropical areas around the world, from Central and South America to Central Africa and Southeast Asia. Jason Bittel, National Geographic, "Caecilians," 27 June 2019 Freshwater fishes consume about 600 neotropical plant species. Adam Popescu, National Geographic, "These Fish Keep Forests Alive—And Fishing Threatens Them," 12 June 2018 The seasonal floods nourish a diverse assemblage of insects that, in turn, sustain a variety of larger creatures, from juvenile salmon and Oregon chub to migrating neotropical songbirds. Bennett Hall, The Seattle Times, "A day on floating on Oregon’s Willamette River," 8 Dec. 2017 From the smallest hummingbirds to bald eagles, and from migratory neotropical songbirds to oceangoing seabirds who rarely see more of North America than a sliver of Atlantic coast, the diversity and the spectacle of this mass movement is powerful. Dave Taft, New York Times, "Little Terror of the Flyway," 19 Oct. 2017 Nature trails weave through canopies of Spanish moss, neotropical birds fill the air with song, and the May River twists and turns through the hearts of outdoorsmen. Smithsonian, "Learn more about Palmetto Bluff's Artist in Residence program.," 31 Mar. 2017 The sagging cold front from earlier this week no doubt has ushered in some neotropical migrants. Taylor Piephoff, charlotteobserver, "Use your ears to find a warbler among chickadees," 11 Aug. 2017 One of my favorite neotropical breeders is the Kentucky warbler. Taylor Piephoff, charlotteobserver, "Worried about young birds hopping on the ground? Here’s what you need to know," 12 May 2017

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

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First Known Use of neotropical

1858, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for neotropical

neo- + tropical

Note: Introduced, along with nearctic, ethiopian entry 2, and palearctic, by the British zoologist Philip Sclater (1829-1913) in "On the general Geographical Distribution of the Members of the Class Aves [read June 16th, 1857]," in Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society, Zoology, vol. 2 (1858), pp. 130-45.

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The first known use of neotropical was in 1858

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Last Updated

27 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Neotropical.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

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