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 rhinoceros (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 West African black rhino was one of four subspecies of rhinoceros. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, 21 Apr. 2022 Among the fossils were parts of a jaw bone from a brontothere, an animal similar to the modern-day rhinoceros. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 Mar. 2022 Among the Turkish fossils were jaw fragments from Brontotheres, a mammal that resembled a large rhinoceros that died out at the end of the Eocene Epoch. NBC News, 26 Feb. 2022 For any ambitious ecotourists that dream of spotting an elephant, tiger, or rhinoceros in the pristine rural depths of India, read on to discover some of the country’s best destinations for wildlife tourism. Jared Ranahan, Forbes, 29 Jan. 2022 While most see a rhinoceros, Hollant sees his son, who was diagnosed at a young age with neurofibromatosis. Susan Dunne, courant.com, 9 Dec. 2021 In an effort to better protect the animals, conservationists in Africa recently relocated 30 members of what large species of rhinoceros? CNN, 3 Dec. 2021 Parts of East India have animals like the rhinoceros and red panda that are indigenous to the area. Shradha Shahani, Condé Nast Traveler, 1 Sep. 2021 The reality star volunteers with Urban Wildlife Care in Ontario, adopted a rhinoceros named Sophia and constantly poses with everything from cats and dogs to hawks and duikers (small antelopes). Dana Rose Falcone, PEOPLE.com, 29 June 2021 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

29 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rhinoceros.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rhinoceros. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for rhinoceros


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

More from Merriam-Webster on rhinoceros

Nglish: Translation of rhinoceros for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rhinoceros


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