trog·​lo·​dyte | \ ˈträ-glə-ˌdīt How to pronounce troglodyte (audio) \

Definition of troglodyte

1 : a member of any of various peoples (as in antiquity) who lived or were reputed to live chiefly in caves
2 : a person characterized by reclusive habits or outmoded or reactionary attitudes

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Other Words from troglodyte

troglodytic \ ˌträ-​glə-​ˈdi-​tik How to pronounce troglodytic (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for troglodyte


caveman, Neanderthal

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Did You Know?

Peer into the etymological cave of troglodyte and you’ll find a trōglē. But don't be afraid. Trōglē may sound like a scary cave-dwelling ogre, but it's actually just a perfectly unintimidating Greek root that means "hole" or "cave." Is troglodyte the only English word to have descended from trōglē? Not exactly. Troglodyte and its related adjective troglodytic (meaning "of, related to, or being a troglodyte") are the only trōglē offspring that are widely used in general English contexts, but another trōglē progeny, the prefix troglo-, meaning "cave-dwelling," is used in scientific contexts to form words like troglobiont ("an animal living in or restricted to caves").

Examples of troglodyte in a Sentence

the troglodytes who believed that women had no place in the military, except perhaps as nurses

Recent Examples on the Web

The animals include short-faced bears known as Arctotherium wingei and the wolf-like Protocyon troglodytes. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Divers Found Giant Bear and Wolf Remains in an Underwater Cave," 2 May 2019 In tourist centers like Alcalá del Júcar, visitors flock to see medieval troglodyte caves, some of which have now been turned into bars and restaurants. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "The Grape From Manchuela," 21 June 2018 The spelunkers of The Descent are stuck in utter darkness below the Appalachian mountains even without cannibal troglodytes; to be left alone out in the Atlantic Ocean, as in Open Water, is awful enough without sharks. Asher Elbein, The Atlantic, "The Terror Is More Than a Chilling Monster Show," 1 May 2018 Of course, the gesture was not made without the troglodytes crawling up from the dark, dank holes. Breanna Edwards, The Root, "Vermont High School Flies Black Lives Matter Flag to Signal Commitment to Inclusivity," 2 Feb. 2018 The obvious solution is to convince your voters not to nominate troglodytes. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "Ethics Issues? Just Torpedo the Ethics Committee!," 25 Jan. 2018 The troglodytes and the unhappy housewives and the shallow, pedantic millennials will start to glow and shimmer. Heather Havrilesky, The Cut, "‘I’m Staring Into the Void!’," 13 Sep. 2017 To troglodytes like me, the writing of the Constitution and Bill of Rights was perhaps the greatest cause of the nation. David Harsanyi, National Review, "Come and Take Them," 6 Oct. 2017 The 57-year-old Díaz-Canel sounds like, and acts, like another geriatric troglodyte. Fabiola Santiago, miamiherald, "Maybe Cuba ‘owes nothing’ to U.S. — but it does to the Cuban people," 22 Aug. 2017

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

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for troglodyte

Latin troglodytae, plural, from Greek trōglodytai, from trōglē hole, cave (akin to Greek trōgein to gnaw, Armenian aracem I lead to pasture, graze) + dyein to enter

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Last Updated

13 May 2019

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Time Traveler for troglodyte

The first known use of troglodyte was in 1555

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English Language Learners Definition of troglodyte

: a person who lived in a cave in prehistoric times

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behavior toward others

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