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

Throughout natural history there have been as many as 250 species of rhinoceros. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Unicorns Rhinos Were Real and Lived With Humans, New Study Says," 27 Nov. 2018 Some species of rhinoceros are nearly extinct due to poaching, habitat loss, and political conflict; for largely the same reasons, wild lion populations across Africa have plummeted 43 percent since 1993, National Geographic recently reported. Alessandra Codinha, Vogue, "New York Fashion Week Gets Wild With a Dinner for Tiffany & Co.," 9 Sep. 2018 His comments signal a climbdown for China after widespread criticism from the United Nations and environmental groups, which fear that a relaxation of the ban would be harmful to rhinoceros and tiger populations in the wild. Chun Han Wong, WSJ, "China Suspends Its Relaxation of Wildlife-Trade Ban," 12 Nov. 2018 The new recipients of Tiffany’s largesse will now also include the rhinoceros and the lion, the latter of which found a new ambassador in Jordan Barrett. Alessandra Codinha, Vogue, "New York Fashion Week Gets Wild With a Dinner for Tiffany & Co.," 9 Sep. 2018 Analysis of other rhinoceros species, both in Africa and Asia, points to a viable population in the wild needing to be at least 500 strong. The Economist, "IVF may bring northern white rhinos back from the brink of extinction," 4 July 2018 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

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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Last Updated

25 Dec 2018

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

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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

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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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