sar·​cop·​te·​ryg·​ian | \ ˌsär-ˌkäp-tə-ˈri-j(ē-)ən How to pronounce sarcopterygian (audio) \

Definition of sarcopterygian

: of, relating to, or belonging to the Sarcopterygii : lobe-finned [The coelacanth] is the only living representative of a group of sarcopterygian fishes thought to be extinct since the Late Cretaceous period … — Kim Honey, Globe and Mail (Toronto), 18 Jan. 1999 … supporting the hypothesis that the neural basis of vocal circuits arose before the divergence of sarcopterygian and actinopterygian branches of the vertebrate phylogeny.— Daniel Margoliash and Melina E. Hale, Science, 18 July 2008

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Other Words from sarcopterygian

sarcopterygian noun, plural sarcopterygians
Lobe-finned fish like the coelacanth and lungfish are known to zoologists as sarcopterygians, meaning fleshy fins. Tetrapods, including people, are descended from this group … — Nicolas Wade, New York Times, 18 Apr. 2013

First Known Use of sarcopterygian

1967, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sarcopterygian

Time Traveler for sarcopterygian

Time Traveler

The first known use of sarcopterygian was in 1967

See more words from the same year

Statistics for sarcopterygian

Cite this Entry

“Sarcopterygian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

Comments on sarcopterygian

What made you want to look up sarcopterygian? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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