hippopotamus

[ hip-uh-pot-uh-muh s ]
/ ˌhɪp əˈpɒt ə məs /

noun, plural hip·po·pot·a·mus·es, hip·po·pot·a·mi [hip-uh-pot-uh-mahy] /ˌhɪp əˈpɒt əˌmaɪ/.

a large herbivorous mammal, Hippopotamus amphibius, having a thick hairless body, short legs, and a large head and muzzle, found in and near the rivers, lakes, etc., of Africa, and able to remain under water for a considerable time.

Origin of hippopotamus

1555–65; < Latin < Greek hippopótamos, earlier híppos potámios literally, riverine horse (term used by Herodotus in his account of the Egyptian hippopotamus); compare Middle English ypotame, ypotamos, ypotanus < Old French ypotame < Medieval Latin ypotamus

Related forms

hip·po·po·tam·ic [hip-uh-puh-tam-ik] /ˌhɪp ə pəˈtæm ɪk/, hip·po·po·ta·mi·an [hip-uh-puh-tey-mee-uh n] /ˌhɪp ə pəˈteɪ mi ən/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hippopotamus

British Dictionary definitions for hippopotamus

hippopotamus

/ (ˌhɪpəˈpɒtəməs) /

noun plural -muses or -mi (-ˌmaɪ)

a very large massive gregarious artiodactyl mammal, Hippopotamus amphibius, living in or around the rivers of tropical Africa: family Hippopotamidae. It has short legs and a thick skin sparsely covered with hair
pigmy hippopotamus a related but smaller animal, Choeropsis liberiensis

Word Origin for hippopotamus

C16: from Latin, from Greek hippopotamos river horse, from hippos horse + potamos river
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