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troglodyte

[trog-luh-dahyt]
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noun
  1. a prehistoric cave dweller.
  2. a person of degraded, primitive, or brutal character.
  3. a person living in seclusion.
  4. a person unacquainted with affairs of the world.
  5. an animal living underground.
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Origin of troglodyte

1545–55; < Latin trōglodyta < Greek trōglodýtēs one who creeps into holes, cave dweller, equivalent to trōglo- (combining form of trṓglē a gnawed hole; cf. trogon) + dý(ein) to creep into + -tēs agent suffix
Related formstrog·lo·dyt·ic [trog-luh-dit-ik] /ˌtrɒg ləˈdɪt ɪk/, trog·lo·dyt·i·cal, adjectivetrog·lo·dyt·ism [trog-luh-dahy-tiz-uh m] /ˈtrɒg lə daɪˌtɪz əm/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for troglodyte

Historical Examples

  • The original cave man, the troglodyte, may have got his that way.

    Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete

    Albert Bigelow Paine

  • It seemed but a step to the Neanderthal skull and our Troglodyte forbears.

    A Labrador Doctor

    Wilfred Thomason Grenfell

  • During our stay at Philae she found a troglodyte who was induced to teach her his language.

  • The tomtit, the wren, and the troglodyte mingle their voices.

    The Bird

    Jules Michelet

  • "He's no troglodyte, Han, I'm certain—" Merrick's wife said plaintively.

    Turning Point

    Alfred Coppel


British Dictionary definitions for troglodyte

troglodyte

noun
  1. a cave dweller, esp one of the prehistoric peoples thought to have lived in caves
  2. informal a person who lives alone and appears eccentric
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Derived Formstroglodytic (ˌtrɒɡləˈdɪtɪk) or troglodytical, adjective

Word Origin

C16: via Latin from Greek trōglodutēs one who enters caves, from trōglē hole + duein to enter
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

Word Origin and History for troglodyte

n.

"cave-dweller," 1550s, from Latin troglodytae (plural), from Greek troglodytes "cave-dweller," literally "one who creeps into holes," from trogle "hole" (from trogein "to gnaw;" see trout) + dyein "go in, dive in."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper