quadruped

noun

quad·​ru·​ped ˈkwä-drə-ˌped How to pronounce quadruped (audio)
: an animal having four feet
quadruped adjective

Did you know?

The quadrupeds include almost all the mammals. (Among the exceptions are whales, bats, and humans.) The Greek equivalent of this Latin word is tetrapod. However, the two are not identical, since the tetrapod classification includes bipeds such as birds, in which two of the limbs are no longer used for walking. Insects all have six legs, of course, and in the sea there are eight-legged octopods (including the octopus). But there are no animals of any kind with an odd number of legs.

Examples of quadruped in a Sentence

Horses and cows are quadrupeds.
Recent Examples on the Web Its historical significance derives from a curious quadruped that has lived there for roughly a hundred thousand years: the horse. Manvir Singh, The New Yorker, 25 Dec. 2023 Advertisement At a standstill in the two-hour standoff, cops deployed their robotic quadruped to sniff out the situation, according to Ohana. Noah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times, 8 Nov. 2023 Bipedalism, by reducing exposure to the sun, is tipping the balance and turning hair loss, which in quadrupeds would be a disadvantage, into an asset. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019 Of course, people knew from everyday observations that these quadrupeds can turn in the air. Manon Bischoff, Scientific American, 24 July 2023 Now, of course, Boston Dynamics is the authority in legged robots, with its Atlas biped and Spot quadruped. IEEE Spectrum, 31 July 2023 But quadrupeds have made some enormous four-legged strides since the late 1 990s and early 2000s. IEEE Spectrum, 17 Apr. 2023 And in fact, most other quadrupeds are versatile like this: four-legged animals frequently use their front limbs to interact with the world around them for non-locomotion purposes. IEEE Spectrum, 29 Mar. 2023 Yet the magazine continues to explore, optimistically, the challenges and discoveries that promise to shape the lives of bipeds, quadrupeds and every other creature on Earth. Ted Scheinman, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Mar. 2020 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Latin quadruped-, quadrupes, from quadruped-, quadrupes, adjective, having four feet, from quadri- + ped-, pes foot — more at foot

First Known Use

1646, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of quadruped was in 1646

Dictionary Entries Near quadruped

Cite this Entry

“Quadruped.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quadruped. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

quadruped

noun
quad·​ru·​ped ˈkwäd-rə-ˌped How to pronounce quadruped (audio)
: an animal having four feet

Medical Definition

quadruped

noun
quad·​ru·​ped ˈkwäd-rə-ˌped How to pronounce quadruped (audio)
: an animal having four feet

More from Merriam-Webster on quadruped

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