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

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 Expect to see a rhinoceros, alligator, fire-breathing swan and even some alien creatures roll down the Las Vegas Strip when the Intergalactic Art Car Festival comes to town in June. Mary Forgione, latimes.com, "Prepare for an art car invasion and festival coming to Las Vegas," 30 May 2018 For years, visitors to the Kansas City Zoo have seen only one rhinoceros on exhibit at a time, even though the animal park has had as many as four of the iconic African beasts. Matt Campbell, kansascity, "Breeding pair of rhinos, new to the Kansas City Zoo, getting along just fine," 8 June 2018 The city of Richmond, Calif. juts into the San Francisco Bay like the head of a rhinoceros looking west across the water, toward San Quentin State Prison and the tony towns north of the Golden Gate. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "Can a City Really Sue an Oil Company for Climate Change?," 25 May 2018 These animals ranged in weight from a few pounds to about 4,000 pounds, with the largest among them similar in bulk to a modern hippopotamus or rhinoceros. Kohei Tanaka, National Geographic, "How Giant Dinosaurs Sat on Their Eggs Without Crushing Them," 15 May 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

18 Sep 2018

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

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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 \
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

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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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