platy·​pus | \ ˈpla-ti-pəs How to pronounce platypus (audio) , -ˌpu̇s How to pronounce platypus (audio) \
plural platypuses also platypi\ ˈpla-​ti-​ˌpī How to pronounce platypi (audio) , -​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

Locally, Walkabout Australia hopes to become the only zoo outside of Australia to be home to a platypus. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Village Viewpoints speaker to discuss San Diego Zoo’s impact around the world at April 14 event," 4 Apr. 2019 In this seasonal crop of children’s books, readers can ramble on the beach, smash watermelons (and friendships) at summer camp, go hiking with a tiger and, on the very last day of summer, get slobbered on by a time-traveling platypus. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: An Endless Season for All Ages," 24 May 2019 Rabaiotti: For me, the most surprising one was that platypuses don’t have stomachs. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Flatworms fence with their penises and other gross science facts," 21 Oct. 2018 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,, "Shout Out: Tyler Hoffman, a Barrington eighth grader competing in National Geographic's statewide bee," 22 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.

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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

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Statistics for platypus

Last Updated

3 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for platypus

The first known use of platypus was in 1799

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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


platy·​pus | \ ˈpla-ti-pəs How to pronounce platypus (audio) \

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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with platypus

Spanish Central: Translation of platypus

Nglish: Translation of platypus for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about platypus

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