non-avian

adjective

non-avi·​an ˌnän-ˈā-vē-ən How to pronounce non-avian (audio)
variants or nonavian
1
: not of or relating to birds : not avian
… assorted nonavian creatures whirring, buzzing and croaking.Richard Conniff
nonavian anatomy
2
: of, relating to, or being a non-avian dinosaur
non-avian theropods

Examples of non-avian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The rocks preserve some of the last non-avian dinosaurs before Earth’s fifth mass extinction, including icons such as Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Jan. 2024 Since the discovery of a 65-million-year-old impact crater below the Gulf of Mexico, researchers have debated whether contemporary massive volcanic eruptions or the impact of the asteroid alone is most responsible for the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs. David Bressan, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 Ocean ecosystems also collapsed in the aftermath of the strike, and, like the non-avian dinosaurs on land, almost all the impressive marine reptiles that had swum the ancient seas disappeared. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Nov. 2023 One large step forward came in the nineteen-eighties, when the geologist Walter Alvarez and his father, the physicist Luis Alvarez, put forth the idea that an asteroid strike had caused the death of the majority of non-avian dinosaurs. Rivka Galchen, The New Yorker, 6 Nov. 2023 The demise of non-avian dinosaurs is a lot like that. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 31 Oct. 2023 The catastrophic collision plunged the planet into a dark, cold winter, and in the aftermath of this disaster, known as the Chicxulub impact, 75 percent of living species, including the non-avian dinosaurs, went extinct. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 31 Oct. 2023 Their story is seldom told, overshadowed both by the success of the beaked birds and the charisma of the non-avian dinosaurs. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Oct. 2023 These distant mammalian relatives also survived the Earth’s most famous mass extinction event: the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction that wiped out non-avian dinosaurs on a spring day about 66 million years ago. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 28 Sep. 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

1907, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of non-avian was in 1907

Dictionary Entries Near non-avian

Cite this Entry

“Non-avian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/non-avian. Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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