• Dinosaur


    • UK IPA: /ˈdaɪnəsɔː(ɹ)/

    Alternative forms


    From Ancient Greek δεινός (deinos, "terrible, awesome, mighty, fearfully great") + σαῦρος (sauros, "lizard, reptile").

    Full definition of dinosaur



    (plural dinosaurs)
    1. Any of the creatures belonging to the clade Dinosauria, especially those which existed during the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods and are now extinct. from c. 1840
    2. (proscribed) Any extinct reptile, not necessarily belonging to Dinosauria, existing between about 230 million and 65 million years ago.
    3. (figuratively, colloquial) A person or organisation which is very old or has very old-fashioned views or is not willing to change and adapt.
    4. (figuratively, colloquial) Anything that is no longer in common use or practice.

    Usage notes

    Many animals commonly described as dinosaurs do not belong to Dinosauria, and are not true dinosaurs. These include pterosaurs, ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs. Describing these as dinosaurs is frowned upon in scientific writing but persists in the media and in everyday speech.

    Conversely, not all members of Dinosauria became extinct in the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. Those which survived were the ancestors of modern birds, which therefore also belong to Dinosauria. However, birds are not usually described as dinosaurs, except in some popular science writing.


    Derived terms

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