ˈsküt How to pronounce scute (audio)
: an external bony or horny plate or large scale

Examples of scute in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Stomach contents reveal a regular diet of cephalopods, but some also include sharks, fish, turtles, ichthyosaurs, other marine reptiles, and even dinosaur dermal scutes. Jeanne Timmons, Ars Technica, 23 Mar. 2023 Turtle shells are covered by scutes, plates made of keratin, the same material in fingernails. Celia Ford, WIRED, 30 Aug. 2023 Box turtles, for example, grow their scute outward over time, like how humans grow fingernails. Celia Ford, WIRED, 30 Aug. 2023 In a study published in the journal PNAS Nexus, researchers claim that the scute keratin of a chelonian shell layers over time. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 23 Aug. 2023 Instead of only a defensive function, then, the unique arrangement of scutes on Desmatosuchus may have played a social role and allowed these animals to recognize each other and size each other up, just as paleontologists expect the much later ankylosaurs did. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Mar. 2023 Each scute has concentric growth rings at the center, which have been often cited—perhaps erroneously—as a way to estimate their age. National Geographic, 26 Mar. 2020 Even today, bones and scutes are sold as medicine from China to Mexico. Craig Welch, National Geographic, 20 Sep. 2019 All but leatherbacks, with their layer of thick skin, have bony external skeletons covered in scutes of keratin, the material found in rhinoceros horns and our own fingernails. Craig Welch, National Geographic, 20 Sep. 2019

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

Word History


New Latin scutum, from Latin, shield — more at esquire

First Known Use

1848, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of scute was in 1848

Dictionary Entries Near scute

Cite this Entry

“Scute.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2024.

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