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

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 Animal motifs, including taxidermy, are enjoying a bit of a moment in interior design. Maile Pingel, Washington Post, 27 July 2022 Sylke Frahnert, the bird curator, kept two taxidermy hoatzins on a shelf near the cuckoos and turacos, which seems as good a place as any. Ben Crair, The New Yorker, 15 July 2022 His collection of hunting taxidermy now makes up a significant portion of the collection at Fernbank Science Center. Hunter Boyce, ajc, 18 July 2022 In 2019, the federal prosecutor urged the court to order Deveny to preserve the approximately dozen guns found in her house and exotic taxidermy heads of animals, including a giraffe, zebra, and lion, but dispose of any ammunition in the home. oregonlive, 27 June 2022 There is no dust—dust is the enemy of good taxidermy. Alex Heard, Outside Online, 11 Aug. 2020 Housing collectibles that range from a WWI propeller to taxidermy insects, there are countless stories to be told and the staff are more than happy to share them. Christina Liao, Forbes, 16 May 2022 The man claims most of the taxidermy animals came from his father, per Las Provincias. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Apr. 2022 Distinctive elements: Italian writing desk; taxidermy animals; hide over rug; antiqued mirror map art. Lennie Omalza, The Courier-Journal, 31 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of taxidermy was in 1820

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Last Updated

15 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Taxidermy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for taxidermy


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

More from Merriam-Webster on taxidermy

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


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