ptero·​dac·​tyl | \ˌter-ə-ˈdak-tᵊl \

Definition of pterodactyl 

: any of various pterosaurs (suborder Pterodactyloidea) of the Late Jurassic and Cretaceous having a rudimentary tail and a beak with reduced dentition broadly : pterosaur

Examples of pterodactyl in a Sentence

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Who could forget Tommy Heinsohn throwing punches with a pterodactyl? Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, "How the Warriors, Cavaliers are linked in history," 30 May 2018 Image Blessed with a spectacular talent, a 7-foot-3 hybrid of a shooting guard and a pterodactyl defender, most teams would craft a team and organizational philosophy around him. Michael Powell, New York Times, "David Fizdale Is Totally Going to Save the Knicks," 4 May 2018 Or just hang out at the infinity pool and watch the soaring pterodactyl-like frigate birds, or look for geckos while performing mojito quality checks on the latest shipment of mint. By Brian Melton, star-telegram, "Can You Belize It? Tropical wonderland offers getaway for all types of travelers," 6 Sep. 2017 There is now, as well, a lottery pick point guard on the team — the intriguing Frank Ntilikina, a 6-5 French teenager with a pterodactyl’s wingspan. Michael Powell, New York Times, "Zen Phil Is Gone, but All Is Not Lost for Knicks," 28 June 2017 The next year the Ducks traded for Pronger, the pterodactyl with the T-rex temperament. Mark Whicker, Orange County Register, "Whicker: Ducks spun ’06 disappointment into ’07 victory," 6 June 2017 But Durant’s a 7-foot pterodactyl who jumps higher, reaches further, slides quicker, disrupts more and rebounds better. Anthony Slater, The Mercury News, "Five observations from the Warriors’ Game 2 win over the Cavaliers," 5 June 2017 But Durant is a 7-foot pterodactyl, who has only gained strength and defensive guile during his first decade in the league. Anthony Slater, The Mercury News, "Kevin Durant dominates defensively as Warriors push up 2-0 on Cavaliers in Finals," 4 June 2017 That created space for him at the 3-point line, where this lean pterodactyl of a player is deadly. Michael Powell, New York Times, "Sign Up for the Sports Newsletter," 25 Mar. 2016

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

1829, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pterodactyl

New Latin Pterodactylus, genus of reptiles, from Greek pteron wing + daktylos finger — more at feather

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Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

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The first known use of pterodactyl was in 1829

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English Language Learners Definition of pterodactyl

: a large flying animal that lived long ago when dinosaurs were alive


ptero·​dac·​tyl | \ˌter-ə-ˈdak-tᵊl \

Kids Definition of pterodactyl

: a very large extinct flying reptile that lived at the same time as the dinosaurs

More from Merriam-Webster on pterodactyl

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pterodactyl Encyclopedia article about pterodactyl

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