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90s Slang You Should Know


[too-uh-tahr-uh] /ˌtu əˈtɑr ə/
a large, primarily nocturnal, lizardlike reptile, Sphenodon punctatum, of islands near the coast of New Zealand: the only surviving rhynchocephalian.
Also, tuatera
[too-uh-tair-uh] /ˌtu əˈtɛər ə/ (Show IPA)
Also called sphenodon.
Origin of tuatara
1810-20; < Maori, equivalent to tua dorsal + tara spine Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tuatera
Historical Examples
  • They were actually remotely related to the tuatera lizard of New Zealand, and still more remotely to the true lizards.

    Dinosaurs William Diller Matthew
British Dictionary definitions for tuatera


a greenish-grey lizard-like rhynchocephalian reptile, Sphenodon punctatus, occurring only on certain small islands near New Zealand: it is the sole surviving member of a group common in Mesozoic times
Word Origin
C19: from Māori, from tua back + tara spine
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
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Word Origin and History for tuatera



New Zealand lizard, 1890, from Maori, from tua "on the back" + tara "spine."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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