quad·​ru·​ped | \ ˈkwä-drə-ˌped How to pronounce quadruped (audio) \

Definition of quadruped

: an animal having four feet

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Other Words from quadruped

quadruped adjective
quadrupedal \ kwä-​ˈdrü-​pə-​dᵊl How to pronounce quadrupedal (audio) , ˌkwä-​drə-​ˈpe-​ How to pronounce quadrupedal (audio) \ 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

That includes the Ornithischia branch, which produced many famous quadruped dinosaurs, such as Triceratops, Stegosaurus, and Ankylosaurus. Jason Bittel, National Geographic, "Like humans, this dinosaur crawled before it walked," 20 May 2019 That transition from stable quadruped to confident biped took a long time as new members of the human family tree evolved. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Ancient Toddler Was at Home on the Ground and in the Trees," 5 July 2018 Dogs resemble wild quadrupeds — feral hogs, raccoons, coyotes and other mammals — that are regular meals for gators. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Wildlife is wild, so admire from afar," 13 June 2018 Boston Dynamics is also working on a quadruped robot called SpotMini, which can recover in unsettling fashion when humans kick or tug on it. Matt Simon, WIRED, "The WIRED Guide to Robots," 17 May 2018 More majestically, the quadrupeds, inescapably connected to what sustains them, embodied their gratitude. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "In 'Doggie Hamlet,' a cast of canines, sheep and, yes, humans — ay, there's the rub," 5 Feb. 2018 These quadrupeds are perfectly adapted to the remote Arctic wasteland, sporting a coat of thick fur that contains an insulating under layer to seal them away from harsh temperatures. Maya Wei-haas, Smithsonian, "To Understand the Elusive Musk Ox, Researchers Must Become Its Worst Fear," 2 Aug. 2017 The agency is looking for a smarter quadruped, too. Noah Shachtman, WIRED, "Darpa Preps Son of Robotic Mule," 29 Oct. 2008 Paleontologists also realized the animals were not dedicated quadrupeds. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "When Dinosaurs Went Bad," 10 Apr. 2017

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

1646, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for quadruped

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

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Statistics for quadruped

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for quadruped

The first known use of quadruped was in 1646

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More Definitions for quadruped



English Language Learners Definition of quadruped

technical : an animal that has four feet


quad·​ru·​ped | \ ˈkwä-drə-ˌped How to pronounce quadruped (audio) \

Kids Definition of quadruped

: an animal having four feet


quad·​ru·​ped | \ ˈkwäd-rə-ˌped How to pronounce quadruped (audio) \

Medical Definition of quadruped

: an animal having four feet

Other Words from quadruped

quadrupedal \ kwä-​ˈdrü-​pəd-​ᵊl How to pronounce quadrupedal (audio) , ˌkwäd-​rə-​ˈped-​ How to pronounce quadrupedal (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on quadruped

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with quadruped

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for quadruped

Spanish Central: Translation of quadruped

Nglish: Translation of quadruped for Spanish Speakers

Comments on quadruped

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characterized by aphorism

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