• synonyms


[saw-ris-kee-uh n]
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  1. any herbivorous or carnivorous dinosaur of the order Saurischia, having a three-pronged pelvis resembling that of a crocodile.Compare ornithischian.
  1. belonging or pertaining to the Saurischia.

Origin of saurischian

1885–90; < New Latin Saurischi(a) name of the order (Saur(ia) (see -saur) + Latin -ischi(um) ischium + -a -a1) + -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for saurischian


  1. of, relating to, or belonging to the Saurischia, an order of late Triassic to Cretaceous dinosaurs including the theropods and sauropods
  1. any dinosaur belonging to the order Saurischia; a lizard-hipped dinosaur

Word Origin

C19: from New Latin Saurischia, from saurus + ischium
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

saurischian in Science


  1. Any of various dinosaurs belonging to the group Saurischia, one of the two main divisions of dinosaurs. Saurischians had a pelvis similar to that of modern reptiles, in which the pubis pointed forward. Saurischians include all the carnivorous dinosaurs (theropods) as well as the herbivorous sauropods, and often grew to great size. Birds are descended from one group of saurischians. Compare ornithischian.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.