non-avian dinosaur

noun
variants: or nonavian dinosaur
plural non-avian dinosaurs or nonavian dinosaurs

Definition of non-avian dinosaur

: any dinosaur that is not a bird These new data show that certain non-avian dinosaurs and early birds shed their skin in ways very similar to that of modern birds and mammals.— Hanneke Meijer Following a mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period some 65 million years ago, an event that drove non-avian dinosaurs extinct, the size and diversity of mammals exploded over a 15-million-year period, researchers say.— Pete Spotts Whereas the last of the nonavian dinosaurs certainly perished 64.5 million years ago, many other animals survived …— James Gurney — compare avian dinosaur

First Known Use of non-avian dinosaur

1988, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About non-avian dinosaur

Time Traveler for non-avian dinosaur

Time Traveler

The first known use of non-avian dinosaur was in 1988

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near non-avian dinosaur

non-avian

non-avian dinosaur

nonbacterial

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for non-avian dinosaur

Cite this Entry

“Non-avian dinosaur.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/non-avian%20dinosaur. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!