plural oreodonts
: any of several extinct, four-toed, ruminant, artiodactyl mammals (families Merycoidodontidae and Agriochoeridae) living in North America from the Eocene to the early Pliocene and having a general resemblance to swine in form with a short face, a long body, and short legs
A closer look revealed bone fragments and teeth of an oreodont—a sheep-sized mammal that grazed here in herds thirty million years ago.John Madson, in Words from the Land, 1988
oreodont adjective
Because oreodont fossils are so common, this one was documented and left in place. Tom Majeski, St. Paul (Minnesota) Pioneer Press, 19 Aug. 2000

Word History


New Latin Oreodontidae

First Known Use

1869, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of oreodont was in 1869

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Dictionary Entries Near oreodont

Cite this Entry

“Oreodont.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oreodont. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

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