rhi·​noc·​er·​os | \ rī-ˈnäs-rəs How to pronounce rhinoceros (audio) , rə-, -ˈnä-sə- \
plural rhinoceroses also rhinoceros or rhinoceri\ rī-​ˈnä-​sə-​ˌrī How to pronounce rhinoceri (audio) , rə-​ \

Definition of rhinoceros

: any of a family (Rhinocerotidae) of large heavyset herbivorous perissodactyl mammals of Africa and Asia that have one or two upright keratinous horns on the snout and thick gray to brown skin with little hair

Illustration of rhinoceros

Illustration of rhinoceros

Examples of rhinoceros in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The number of rhinoceroses killed for their horns in South Africa dropped to 594 in 2019 — down from the 769 killed the previous year. Iliana Magra, New York Times, "A Detective Pursued Rhino Poachers. Now He’s Dead.," 19 Mar. 2020 At the same time, species like the woolly mammoths and woolly rhinoceroses were driven to extinction, reports Marisa Iati at the Washington Post. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "This Bird Froze 46,000 Years Ago. Now, It Can Tell Scientists About the Last Ice Age," 24 Feb. 2020 An endangered rhinoceros at a Miami, Florida, zoo turned 43 and is now the oldest male black rhino in the United States. Nicole Chavez, CNN, "Happy 43rd birthday to the oldest male black rhino in the US," 15 Feb. 2020 There seemed to be meaning behind a small rhinoceros statue, a framed picture of praying hands and a bowl of Brazil nuts. USA TODAY, "'The Masked Singer' recap: Mouse, revealed to be an iconic singer, is sent home," 27 Feb. 2020 Crime Fighting Nepal takes its antipoaching efforts very seriously, particularly for charismatic megafauna such as tigers and rhinoceroses, which receive the majority of global conservation funding and attention. Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, "To Stop Wildlife Crime, Conservationists Ask Why People Poach," 10 Jan. 2020 About 100,000 years ago, small, hardy bands of Neanderthals arrived on the trail of megafauna such as mammoths and woolly rhinoceros. Andrew Curry, Science | AAAS, "Relics washed up on beaches reveal lost world beneath the North Sea," 30 Jan. 2020 Your Instagram photo of the day Recording a lost world: The 36,000-year-old paintings in France's Chauvet Cave, remarkably preserved, tell stories of when lions, aurochs, bison, and rhinoceroses all lived in Europe. National Geographic, "How can small clues further big discoveries?," 30 Dec. 2019 Sporting a double-horned headgear, he is surrounded by animals like tiger, rhinoceros, and elephant. Harish Pullanoor, Quartz India, "How the Indian icon Nataraja danced his way from ancient history to modern physics," 18 Dec. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rhinoceros

Middle English rinoceros, from Anglo-French, from Latin rhinocerot-, rhinoceros, from Greek rhinokerōt-, rhinokerōs, from rhin- + keras horn — more at horn

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Time Traveler for rhinoceros

Time Traveler

The first known use of rhinoceros was in the 14th century

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Statistics for rhinoceros

Last Updated

2 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rhinoceros.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rhinoceros. Accessed 7 Apr. 2020.

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How to pronounce rhinoceros (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rhinoceros

: a large, heavy animal of Africa and Asia that has thick skin and either one or two large horns on its nose


rhi·​noc·​er·​os | \ rī-ˈnä-sə-rəs How to pronounce rhinoceros (audio) \
plural rhinoceroses also rhinoceros

Kids Definition of rhinoceros

: a large plant-eating mammal of Africa and Asia with short legs, thick gray to brown skin with little hair, and one or two heavy upright horns on the snout

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More from Merriam-Webster on rhinoceros

Spanish Central: Translation of rhinoceros

Nglish: Translation of rhinoceros for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rhinoceros

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