• synonyms


or pro·bos·cid·i·an

[proh-buh-sid-ee-uh n, -bo-, proh-bos-i-dee-uh n]
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  1. pertaining to or resembling a proboscis.
  2. having a proboscis.
  3. belonging or pertaining to the mammals of the order Proboscidea, characterized by a flexible trunk formed of the nostrils and upper lip, large tusks, a massive body, and columnar legs, comprising the elephant and the now-extinct mammoth and mastodon.
  1. a proboscidean animal.

Origin of proboscidean

1825–35; < New Latin Proboscide(a) order name (Latin proboscid- (stem of proboscis proboscis) + -ea, neuter plural of -eus adj. suffix; see -eous) + -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for proboscidean

Historical Examples

  • Falconer does not allow for the Proboscidean group being a failing one, and therefore not likely to be giving off new races.

    The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume II (of II)

    Charles Darwin

British Dictionary definitions for proboscidean



  1. of, relating to, or belonging to the Proboscidea, an order of massive herbivorous placental mammals having tusks and a long trunk: contains the elephants
  1. any proboscidean animal
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

proboscidean in Science


  1. Any of various mammals of the order Proboscidea, having a long trunk, large tusks, and a massive body. The elephants and its extinct relatives, such as the mastodons, are proboscidians.
  2. Of or belonging to the order Proboscidea.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.