saber-toothed cat

variants: or saber-toothed tiger or less commonly saber-tooth cat or saber-tooth tiger

Definition of saber-toothed cat

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

Their tracks are preserved in the alkali flats of the valley floor—mammoth, dire wolf, saber-toothed cat, North American camel, and giant ground sloth, all dating back to the last ice age. Hayden Carpenter, Outside Online, "Our Next National Park Could Be in New Mexico," 3 July 2018 Smilodon, a saber-toothed cat around the size of today’s African lion, skulked across the grasslands in search of ground sloths and mammoths. Jason G. Goldman, Scientific American, "In 200 Years Cows May Be the Biggest Land Mammals on the Planet," 20 Apr. 2018 The outgoing Regal’s manual, regrettably, has followed the saber-toothed cat and its cousin, the Buick Wildcat convertible, into the mists of memory. Davey G. Johnson, Car and Driver, "2018 Buick Regal GS," 23 Feb. 2018 Now, a team of researchers in Germany has analyzed mitochondrial DNA from the North Sea fossil, comparing it with that from two saber-toothed cat fossils from North and South America. Gretchen Vogel, Science | AAAS, "This jaw bone bolsters the case for human contact with saber-toothed cats in Europe," 19 Oct. 2017 Both were only distantly related to the DNA from another saber-toothed cat, Smilodon populator, in a fossil from Chile. Gretchen Vogel, Science | AAAS, "This jaw bone bolsters the case for human contact with saber-toothed cats in Europe," 19 Oct. 2017 The microfossil of a voracious eukaryote doesn’t exactly have the distinguishing characteristics of, say, a Tyrannosaurus rex or a saber-toothed cat. Mark Strauss, National Geographic, "You May Owe Your Existence to Tiny Vampires," 9 June 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'saber-toothed cat.' 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 saber-toothed cat

1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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saber-toothed cat

sa·​ber-toothed cat | \ ˈsā-bər-ˌtütht-\

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