ptero·​dac·​tyl | \ ˌter-ə-ˈdak-tᵊl How to pronounce pterodactyl (audio) \

Definition of pterodactyl

: any of various pterosaurs (suborder Pterodactyloidea) of the Late Jurassic and Cretaceous having a rudimentary tail and a beak with reduced dentition broadly : pterosaur

Examples of pterodactyl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web His antic ads for the Little Caesars pizza chain included one in which a pizza box turns into a pterodactyl. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, 30 Sep. 2021 But the hotel shut its doors for good a few years ago, a hulking edifice that some liken to a rearing pterodactyl but that others just call a fire trap., 30 July 2021 Paragon also wrote many of the show’s episodes and voiced Pterri, the talking pterodactyl. Los Angeles Times, 18 June 2021 The bird was gazing at her with its single eye on the side of its flat head—a pterodactyl’s cold indifferent Mesozoic eye. Cynthia Ozick, The New Yorker, 14 June 2021 The Shadow Fold, also known as the Unsea, is a region of nearly impenetrable darkness that contains pterodactyl-like monsters that eat human flesh called colcra. Quinci Legardye, Marie Claire, 29 Apr. 2021 St-Juste a pterodactyl with a wingspan over 80 inches. Dan Labbe, cleveland, 22 Apr. 2021 Jay Pharoah offered a reasonable facsimile of J.J. Evans, from his strut to his pterodactyl-like arm positioning. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, 19 Dec. 2019 Or when Yaba Daba Doo’s pterodactyl wings blew off before leaving the barge. Deanna Weniger, Twin Cities, 7 Sep. 2019

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

1829, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pterodactyl

New Latin Pterodactylus, genus of reptiles, from Greek pteron wing + daktylos finger — more at feather

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The first known use of pterodactyl was in 1829

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Last Updated

5 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pterodactyl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for pterodactyl



English Language Learners Definition of pterodactyl

: a large flying animal that lived long ago when dinosaurs were alive


ptero·​dac·​tyl | \ ˌter-ə-ˈdak-tᵊl How to pronounce pterodactyl (audio) \

Kids Definition of pterodactyl

: a very large extinct flying reptile that lived at the same time as the dinosaurs

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