white rhinoceros

variants: or white rhino

Definition of white rhinoceros

: a rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) of southern and central Africa that is distinguished from the black rhinoceros especially by larger size and by a squared upper lip lacking a protrusion

Examples of white rhinoceros in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Sudan, the last male northern white rhinoceros in the world, died of old age in 2018, at 45, a passage widely covered in the international news media. BostonGlobe.com, "Newburyport Documentary Film Festival," 12 Sep. 2019 The group was on the lookout for leopards, but instead had a terrifying encounter with a white rhinoceros. Ashley Boucher, PEOPLE.com, "White Rhino Charges at Tourists for More Than a Minute in Terrifying Escape Video," 20 Aug. 2019 The rhino embryo could then be implanted into a surrogate mother, a southern white rhinoceros, who would later give birth to a hybrid calf. Rebecca Boyle, Discover Magazine, "The Quixotic Quest to Birth a Baby Northern White Rhino," 25 June 2019 But hope may not be lost for the northern white rhinoceros. Rebecca Boyle, Discover Magazine, "The Quixotic Quest to Birth a Baby Northern White Rhino," 25 June 2019 Their report in the journal Nature Communications shows that unfertilized eggs harvested from closely related southern white rhinoceros females can be fertilized by frozen sperm previously collected from northern white rhino males. Deborah Netburn, latimes.com, "How IVF might save northern white rhinos, the world's most endangered species," 4 July 2018 Wildlife ranger Joseph Wachira comforts Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhinoceros, in his final moments. Ernie Mastroianni, Discover Magazine, "Discover's Images of the Year 2018," 20 Dec. 2018 The southern white rhinoceros is closely related to the northern subspecies and, according to the World Wildlife Fund, is the only surviving rhino species classified as not endangered. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "With Hybrid Embryo, Scientists Are One Step Closer to Saving the Northern White Rhino," 5 July 2018 Northern white rhinoceroses are not evolutionary failures. Ben Guarino, Washington Post, "‘Beautiful’ embryos created from near-extinct rhinoceros sperm," 4 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of white rhinoceros

1801, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about white rhinoceros

Time Traveler for white rhinoceros

Time Traveler

The first known use of white rhinoceros was in 1801

See more words from the same year

Statistics for white rhinoceros

Cite this Entry

“White rhinoceros.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/white%20rhinoceros. Accessed 6 December 2019.

More from Merriam-Webster on white rhinoceros

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about white rhinoceros

Comments on white rhinoceros

What made you want to look up white rhinoceros? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


very cautious or careful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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