[muh-tag-nuh-thuh s]
  1. Ornithology. having the tips of the mandibles crossed, as the crossbills.
  2. Entomology. having biting mouthparts in the larval stage and sucking mouthparts in the adult stage.

Origin of metagnathous

First recorded in 1870–75; meta- + -gnathous
Related formsme·tag·na·thism, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for metagnathous


  1. (of the beaks of birds such as the crossbill) having crossed tips
Derived Formsmetagnathism, noun

Word Origin for metagnathous

C19: from meta- + -gnathous
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