rhyn·​cho·​ce·​pha·​lian ˌriŋ-kō-sə-ˈfāl-yən How to pronounce rhynchocephalian (audio)
: any of an order (Rhynchocephalia) of reptiles resembling lizards that includes the tuatara as the only living member
rhynchocephalian adjective

Examples of rhynchocephalian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In fact, only one species of rhynchocephalian, Sphenodon punctatus, still survives today. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 15 Sep. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rhynchocephalian.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


ultimately from Greek rhynchos beak, snout + kephalē head — more at cephalic

First Known Use

1886, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rhynchocephalian was in 1886

Dictionary Entries Near rhynchocephalian

Cite this Entry

“Rhynchocephalian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rhynchocephalian. Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

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