taxi·​der·​my | \ ˈtak-sə-ˌdər-mē How to pronounce taxidermy (audio) \

Definition of taxidermy

: the art of preparing, stuffing, and mounting the skins of animals and especially vertebrates

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Other Words from taxidermy

taxidermic \ ˌtak-​sə-​ˈdər-​mik How to pronounce taxidermy (audio) \ adjective
taxidermist \ ˈtak-​sə-​ˌdər-​mist How to pronounce taxidermy (audio) \ noun

Examples of taxidermy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The walls are dense with taxidermy, burlesque paintings and the right kind of dust. Ben Eisendrath, Washington Post, "Frozen in silence: A look inside D.C.’s still shuttered music venues," 4 May 2021 Reminiscent of an old-timey lodge, a large fireplace outfitted with taxidermy greets visitors inside. Dan Koday, Travel + Leisure, "The Best Lakefront Escapes in the U.S.," 11 Apr. 2021 This mathematical taxidermy introduces distortions. New York Times, "Can This New Map Fix Our Distorted Views of the World?," 24 Feb. 2021 William Merkley, a mover with Allen’s Professional Moving Services, has relocated plenty of taxidermy lions, wolves, bears, giraffes and elephants over the years. Emily Mesner, Anchorage Daily News, "A decades-old taxidermy lion exits its longtime home in a Midtown Anchorage hotel lounge," 21 Feb. 2021 Kneaper grew up in Anchorage surrounded by her father’s big-game taxidermy in a roughly 700-square-foot room above the garage. Emily Mesner, Anchorage Daily News, "A decades-old taxidermy lion exits its longtime home in a Midtown Anchorage hotel lounge," 21 Feb. 2021 Aides spent last week boxing up their offices and desks - White House chief of staff Mark Meadows’ wife, Debbie, was spotted packing a taxidermy bird into an SUV. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump to flee Washington and seek refuge in a MAGA oasis: Florida," 17 Jan. 2021 Breen and owner Bob Wait installed faux brick walls, fireplaces, old-time paintings, photos and plastic taxidermy. Sam Lubell, Los Angeles Times, "14 clever COVID-19 design solutions from around the world," 29 Dec. 2020 In June 2021, her sophomore work With Teeth will hit stands and, while there's no taxidermy this time around, it's set to be another captivating family saga. Seija Rankin,, "First Look: Kristen Arnett's follow-up to Mostly Dead Things is very 'The call is coming from inside the house'," 4 Dec. 2020

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

1820, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for taxidermy

borrowed from French taxidermie, from Greek táxis "order, arrangement" + dérma "skin" + French -ie -y entry 2 — more at taxis, -derm

Note: Coinage of French taxidermie has been attributed in recent references (as, for example, A. Scheersoi and S.D. Tunicliffe, editors, Natural History Dioramas—Traditional Exhibits for Current Educational Themes, Springer, 2019, p. 13) to the naturalist and taxidermist Louis Dufresne (1752-1832). Dufresne used the word in the title and text of an article in tome XXI of the Nouveau dictionnaire d'histoire naturelle (Paris, An XI—1803): "taxidermie…des mots τάξις, ordre, arrangement, et δέρμα, peau" (p. 507; "taxidermy…from the words táxis, order, arrangement, and dérma, skin"). (Authorship of the article is attributed to Dufresne in a footnote by the dictionary's editor for ornithology, Louis Pierre Vieillot.) However, taxidermie appears three years earlier in a chapter of the Traité élémentaire et complet d'ornithologie by the zoologist François Marie Daudin (1776-1803), entitled "Sur l'art de taxidermie considéré par rapport aux Oiseaux; c'est-à-dire, sur l'art de dépouiller, de droguer, de conserver et de monter des Peaux des Oiseaux" (tome 1, Paris, 1800—An VIII, p. 439; "On the art of taxidermy considered in relationship to birds, or on the art of removing, treating, preserving and mounting the skins of birds"). Neither Daudin nor Dufresne give any indication that either was the originator of the word.

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Time Traveler for taxidermy

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The first known use of taxidermy was in 1820

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Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Taxidermy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for taxidermy



English Language Learners Definition of taxidermy

: the skill, activity, or job of preparing, stuffing, and mounting the skins of dead animals so that they look like they did when they were alive


taxi·​der·​my | \ ˈtak-sə-ˌdər-mē How to pronounce taxidermy (audio) \

Kids Definition of taxidermy

: the practice or job of preparing, stuffing, and mounting the skins of animals

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Nglish: Translation of taxidermy for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about taxidermy

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