the·​ro·​pod | \ ˈthir-ə-ˌpäd How to pronounce theropod (audio) \
plural theropods

Definition of theropod

: any of a suborder (Theropoda) of carnivorous, bipedal, saurischian dinosaurs (such as a tyrannosaur or velociraptor) having hollow, thin-walled bones and usually small forelimbs

Note: Birds are descended from one lineage of small theropods.

Examples of theropod in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In a statement sent to PEOPLE, a park spokesperson said tracks that were recently found belong to a theropod called Acrocanthosaurus and a sauropod called Sauroposeidon. Jason Duaine Hahn, Peoplemag, 23 Aug. 2022 Preliminary measurements taken on a footprint from one of two theropod trackways found in La Rioja, Spain. Aylin Woodward, WSJ, 9 Dec. 2021 Tyrannosaurus rex, however, was a late Cretaceous theropod and didn’t overlap with the La Rioja track makers. Aylin Woodward, WSJ, 9 Dec. 2021 The theropod that made the larger pair of tracks, which were called La Torre 6A-14, was running between 14.5 and 23.1 miles per hour (23.3 and 37.2 kilometers per hour). Megan Marples, CNN, 9 Dec. 2021 The exhibit features a skeleton and a lifelike replica of the 25-foot-long cryolophosaurus, the largest and most complete theropod from the Early Jurassic period ever found on Earth. Sean P. Means, The Salt Lake Tribune, 22 Oct. 2020 Coins featuring the Megalosaurus, a carnivorous theropod named by the British paleontologist William Buckland in 1824, are already available. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Feb. 2020 This large theropod roamed what is now known as the American West roughly 67 million years ago, and its 188 bones represent one the most complete T. rex skeletons ever found. Kelly Crow, WSJ, 30 Sep. 2020 More importantly, Rauhut and Pol say, Asfaltovenator appears to display traits of more than one theropod lineage. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 May 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'theropod.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of theropod

1883, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for theropod

New Latin Theropoda, from Greek thēr wild animal + pod-, pous foot — more at fierce, foot

Learn More About theropod

Time Traveler for theropod

Time Traveler

The first known use of theropod was in 1883

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near theropod




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for theropod

Last Updated

2 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Theropod.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on theropod Encyclopedia article about theropod


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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