platypus

noun
platy·pus | \ ˈpla-ti-pəs , -ˌpu̇s \
plural platypuses also platypi\ˈpla-ti-ˌpī, -ˌpē \

Definition of platypus 

: a small carnivorous aquatic monotreme mammal (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) of eastern Australia and Tasmania that has a fleshy bill resembling that of a duck, dense fur, webbed feet, and a broad flattened tail

called also duck-billed platypus

Illustration of platypus

Illustration of platypus

Examples of platypus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Other notable animals include the platypus and echidna, both mammals that lay eggs. Andrea Rumbaugh, Houston Chronicle, "See unusual animals at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia," 12 Feb. 2018 There are only two kinds of egg-laying mammals in existence today – the platypus and the spiny anteater species. James Rogers, Fox News, "Discovery of 'reptilian-mammal' fossil could rewrite history," 29 May 2018 Why is the protein only present in platypus milk, and not in other mammals? Jared Gilmour, miamiherald, "Platypuses sweat milk from their bellies — and it could help save us from superbugs, scientists say | Miami Herald," 16 Mar. 2018 For instance, the continent is home to more than 378 mammal species, which range from the rain forest-dwelling tree kangaroo to the venomous platypus. National Geographic, "Meet Brian the Rescued 'Mini-Kangaroo'," 5 Apr. 2018 The animals there are interesting, too, like kangaroos, koala bears and platypuses. Todd Shields, chicagotribune.com, "Shout Out: Tyler Hoffman, a Barrington eighth grader competing in National Geographic's statewide bee," 22 Mar. 2018 The platypus is part of a small group of animals called monotremes, which lay eggs and produce milk to feed their young. Maria Clark, NOLA.com, "Platypus milk could be a weapon to fight infection: Report," 19 Mar. 2018 The platypus is about as bizarre and contradictory as animals come. Jared Gilmour, miamiherald, "Platypuses sweat milk from their bellies — and it could help save us from superbugs, scientists say | Miami Herald," 16 Mar. 2018 Australia is full of cute animals—wombats, bandicoots, potoroos, echidnas, wallabies, platypuses, quokkas and koalas just to name a few. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "The Super-cute Eastern Quoll Returns to Mainland Australia," 16 Mar. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of platypus

1799, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for platypus

New Latin, from Greek platypous flat-footed, from platys broad, flat + pous foot — more at place, foot

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about platypus

Statistics for platypus

Last Updated

14 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for platypus

The first known use of platypus was in 1799

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for platypus

platypus

noun

English Language Learners Definition of platypus

: a small animal from Australia that has a bill like the bill of a duck, webbed feet, and a wide flat tail

platypus

noun
platy·pus | \ ˈpla-ti-pəs \

Kids Definition of platypus

: a small water-dwelling mammal of Australia that lays eggs and has webbed feet, dense fur, and a bill that resembles that of a duck

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on platypus

What made you want to look up platypus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!