proboscidean

noun
pro·​bos·​ci·​de·​an | \prə-ˌbä-sə-ˈdē-ən \
variants: or less commonly proboscidian \prə-​ˌbä-​ˈsi-​dē-​ən, (ˌ)prō-​ \

Definition of proboscidean 

: any of an order (Proboscidea) of large mammals comprising the elephants and extinct related forms (such as mastodons)

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Other Words from proboscidean

proboscidean adjective

Examples of proboscidean in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

As Jacey Fortin reports for the New York Times, Jude, now 10, had accidentally stumbled upon the fossilized skull of a 1.2 million-year-old stegomastodon, an extinct proboscidean that belongs to the same family as elephants, mammoths and mastodons. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Nine-Year-Old Accidentally Discovers a Stegomastodon Fossil in New Mexico," 19 July 2017 As Jacey Fortin reports for the New York Times, Jude, now 10, had accidentally stumbled upon the fossilized skull of a 1.2 million-year-old stegomastodon, an extinct proboscidean that belongs to the same family as elephants, mammoths and mastodons. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Nine-Year-Old Accidentally Discovers a Stegomastodon Fossil in New Mexico," 20 July 2017 Houde said these mammoth animals are a primitive group of proboscideans ('elephantoids') from which modern elephants evolved. Joseph J. Kolb, Fox News, "10 year-old trips into million-year-old dinosaur fossil discovery in New Mexico," 18 July 2017 Phiomia, Deinotherium, Amebelodon, and other archaic proboscideans are represented by both fossils and models, and the artwork in the exhibit is wonderful. Brian Switek, WIRED, "Exhibit Review: Mammoths and Mastodons," 25 Oct. 2010

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'proboscidean.' 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 proboscidean

1835, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for proboscidean

ultimately from Latin proboscid-, proboscis

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The first known use of proboscidean was in 1835

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