poly·​dac·​ty·​ly ˌpä-lē-ˈdak-tə-lē How to pronounce polydactyly (audio)
: the condition of having more than the normal number of fingers or toes

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web This condition, known as polydactyly, affects roughly two in every 1,000 newborns. Tom Roseberry, Scientific American, 4 Sep. 2019 Yet this is not always the case: some people with polydactyly decide not to have their additional fingers removed. Tom Roseberry, Scientific American, 4 Sep. 2019 State Veterinarian Susan Keller said the extra limbs could possibly be one of two similar genetic disorders called polydactyly or polymelia. Forum News Service, Twin Cities, 13 May 2017 State Veterinarian Susan Keller said the calf may have been born with one of two disorders: polymelia, where extra limbs are often smaller or shrunken, or polydactyly, which is the result of genetic combinations involving recessive genes. CBS News, 15 May 2017 To determine how common polydactyly was among the Chacos, the researchers conducted an analysis of 96 skeletons excavated from Pueblo Bonito during prior expeditions. Scott S. Warren, National Geographic, 25 July 2016

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

Word History


polydactyl + -y entry 2

First Known Use

1886, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of polydactyly was in 1886

Dictionary Entries Near polydactyly

Cite this Entry

“Polydactyly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polydactyly. Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


poly·​dac·​ty·​ly ˌpäl-i-ˈdak-tə-lē How to pronounce polydactyly (audio)
: the condition of having extra fingers or toes

Medical Definition


poly·​dac·​ty·​ly -ˈdak-tə-lē How to pronounce polydactyly (audio)
plural polydactylies
: the condition of having more than the normal number of toes or fingers

called also polydactylia, polydactylism

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