rhinoceros

noun
rhi·​noc·​er·​os | \rī-ˈnäs-rəs, rə-, -ˈnä-sə-\
plural rhinoceroses also rhinoceros or rhinonoceri\ rī-​ˈnä-​sə-​ˌrī , 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

With bones originally discovered by Charles Darwin during his voyages famed HMS Beagle, the Macrauchenia can best be described as having the body of a giant llama or camel, the feet of a rhinoceros, and an elephant's trunk. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "It Will Take Millions of Years for Evolution to Replace What We Might Lose in the Next 50," 16 Oct. 2018 Mayer said the rhinoceros had been breathing heavily and had diarrhea. Luis Andres Henao, Fox News, "Giraffe, rhino deaths raise alarm at former Buenos Aires zoo," 22 Aug. 2018 Since their launch in 2014, Canines for Conservation has completed over 200 busts of poached merchandise, homing in on ivory elephant tusks, pangolin scales, rhinoceros horns and more with 90 percent accuracy. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "It’s Pooches vs. Poachers in the Fight Against Wildlife Smugglers," 22 June 2018 Earlier reporting on rhinoceroses The trade-off is that the iPS cell technology will take longer to develop — perhaps a decade or so, Dr. Hildebrandt estimated. New York Times, "Rhino Embryos Made in Lab to Save Nearly Extinct Subspecies," 4 July 2018 Three points for correctly identifying pictures of a lion, camel, and rhinoceros. Washington Post, "The Health 202: Some Republicans blame Medicaid for opioid epidemic," 17 Jan. 2018 Poaching of elephants, rhinoceroses and pangolins makes headlines almost every day. Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, "Tracing Thailand’s Illegal Rosewood Trade," 15 Mar. 2018 Get our daily newsletter Extracting rhinoceros eggs is hard. The Economist, "IVF may bring northern white rhinos back from the brink of extinction," 4 July 2018 The team aims to replicate this success with rhinoceros stem cells. Ben Guarino, Washington Post, "‘Beautiful’ embryos created from near-extinct rhinoceros sperm," 4 July 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rhinoceros

Share rhinoceros

Statistics for rhinoceros

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rhinoceros

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rhinoceros

rhinoceros

noun

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

rhinoceros

noun
rhi·​noc·​er·​os | \rī-ˈnä-sə-rəs \
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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on rhinoceros

Spanish Central: Translation of rhinoceros

Nglish: Translation of rhinoceros for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rhinoceros

Comments on rhinoceros

What made you want to look up rhinoceros? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

noxious or harmful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a-traditional-thanksgiving-dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!