saber-toothed cat

noun

variants or saber-toothed tiger or less commonly saber-tooth cat or saber-tooth tiger
1
: any of various extinct carnivorous cats (such as genus Smilodon) that were widely distributed in the Oligocene through the Pleistocene of both the Old and New World, are characterized by elongation of the upper canines into curved, piercing or slashing, dagger-like weapons and in enlargement of the gape with corresponding muscular and skeletal changes, and that constitute a distinct felid subfamily (Machairodontinae)
2
: any of various extinct North American, Eurasian, and African catlike carnivores (as of the genera Hoplophoneus and Nimravus of the family Nimravidae) of the Late Eocene to Late Miocene that resemble the typical saber-toothed cats

Examples of saber-toothed cat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The unmistakable remains of an early species of saber-toothed cat, found at Dmanisi with more than 10,000 other bones. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 26 Feb. 2015 In this one, a mammoth, a saber-toothed cat and a slot team up to return a human baby to its tribe (and the poor Scrat just tries to get his acorn). Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, 29 Nov. 2022 San Diego Natural History Museum visitors may have seen exhibits featuring Smilodon, a large saber-toothed cat that roamed North America during the Pleistocene era, about 10,000 years ago. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Mar. 2022 These trends and changes tend to be more pronounced and easier to identify in the fossil record; think about how different a Tyrannosaurus rex and a saber-toothed cat are from each other. Briana Pobiner and Ryan McRae, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Dec. 2021 Six more mammoths were excavated between 1990 and 1997, and the team also unearthed the remains of a Western camel, dwarf antelope, American alligator, giant tortoise, and the tooth of a young saber-toothed cat. Amanda Ogle, Travel + Leisure, 7 Feb. 2022 Earlier excavations in White Sands National Park have uncovered fossilized tracks left by a saber-toothed cat, dire wolf, Columbian mammoth and other ice age animals. Wire Reports, oregonlive, 25 Sep. 2021

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

Word History

First Known Use

1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of saber-toothed cat was in 1849

Dictionary Entries Near saber-toothed cat

Cite this Entry

“Saber-toothed cat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/saber-toothed%20cat. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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