poly·​dac·​tyl ˌpä-lē-ˈdak-tᵊl How to pronounce polydactyl (audio)
: having or causing polydactyly

Examples of polydactyl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The polydactyl cat was born with feline dwarfism and other genetic mutations that kept her kitten-sized for her entire life, with huge eyes and a protruding tongue. NBC News, 2 Dec. 2019 The ad for Bruno, a polydactyl Russian blue mix, appeared on the Facebook page of Wright-Way Rescue Wednesday and has since gone viral. Fox News, 19 Aug. 2018 The anthropologists found three polydactyl individuals among the 96 skeletons, all with a sixth toe on the little toe-side of the right foot. Scott S. Warren, National Geographic, 25 July 2016

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

Word History


borrowed from French polydactyle, borrowed from Greek polydáktylos "having many toes," from poly- poly- + -daktylos "having digits (of the kind specified)," adjective derivative of dáktylos "finger, toe" — more at dactyl

First Known Use

1827, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of polydactyl was in 1827

Dictionary Entries Near polydactyl

Cite this Entry

“Polydactyl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polydactyl. Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Medical Definition


1 of 2 adjective
poly·​dac·​tyl ˌpäl-i-ˈdak-tᵊl How to pronounce polydactyl (audio)
: characterized by polydactyly
polydactyl strains of guinea pigsGenetics
also : being a gene that determines polydactyly


2 of 2 noun
: one having more than the normal number of toes or fingers
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