Definition of pachyderm
: any of various nonruminant mammals (such as an elephant, a rhinoceros, or a hippopotamus) of a former group (Pachydermata) that have hooves or nails resembling hooves and usually thick skin; especially : elephant
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Recent Examples of pachyderm from the Web
Because this sweet baby pachyderm is toeing the line.
The magical appeal of Circus 1903 is a new breed of pachyderm: hyper-realistic, life-size puppets, by the creators of the Broadway smash War Horse.
Thanks to the quick, collected thinking of the pachyderm pair, the calf walked away from the incident uninjured.
Elephant figurines, including a pachyderm piggy bank, perch on tables and shelves.
The performing pachyderms, which typically paraded down the street to signal the arrival of the circus in a town, were staple of Ringling Brothers for years.
The A’s, an organization that’s incorporated an elephant in its logo for more than a hundred years, are putting limits on the snack most associated with the pachyderm.
All About Elephants, Inc. owns and runs the ranch with an objective of teaching people about pachyderms.
After observing a pair of African elephant matriarchs for more than a month, scientists found that the venerable pachyderms slept an average of just two hours per night, according to a new study in the journal PLOS One.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pachyderm.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Pachydermos in Greek means literally "having thick skin" (figuratively, it means "dull" or "stupid"). It's from pachys, meaning "thick," and derma, meaning "skin." In the late 1700s the French naturalist Georges Cuvier adapted the Greek term as pachyderme and used it for any one of a whole assemblage of hoofed animals having thickish skin: elephants, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, tapirs, horses, pigs, and more. English speakers learned the word from French in the early 1800s. The adjective pachydermatous means "of or relating to the pachyderms" or "thickened" (referring to skin). Not too surprisingly, it also means "callous" or "insensitive" (somewhat unfairly to elephants, which are actually known to be rather sensitive).
PACHYDERM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of pachyderm for English Language Learners
: a type of animal that has hooves and thick skin
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