[ puh-ris-oh-dak-til ]
/ pəˌrɪs oʊˈdæk tɪl /


having an uneven number of toes or digits on each foot.


any mammal of the order Perissodactyla, comprising the odd-toed hoofed quadrupeds and including the tapirs, rhinoceroses, and horses.
Also pe·ris·so·dac·tyle [puh-ris-oh-dak-til, -tahyl] /pəˌrɪs oʊˈdæk tɪl, -taɪl/.
Compare artiodactyl.

Origin of perissodactyl

1840–50; < New Latin perissodactylus < Greek perissó(s) uneven, literally, beyond the norm, strange (derivative of périx (preposition and adv.) round about, akin to perí; see peri-) + -daktylos -dactylous

OTHER WORDS FROM perissodactyl

pe·ris·so·dac·ty·lous, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for perissodactyl

British Dictionary definitions for perissodactyl


perissodactyle (pəˌrɪsəʊˈdæktaɪl)

/ (pəˌrɪsəʊˈdæktɪl) /


any placental mammal of the order Perissodactyla, having hooves with an odd number of toes: includes horses, tapirs, and rhinoceroses


of, relating to, or belonging to the Perissodactyla

Derived forms of perissodactyl

perissodactylous, adjective

Word Origin for perissodactyl

C19: from New Latin perissodactylus, from Greek perissos uneven + daktulos digit
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

Scientific definitions for perissodactyl

[ pə-rĭs′ō-dăktəl ]

Any of various hoofed mammals of the order Perissodactyla, having one or three hoofed toes on each hindfoot. During the Tertiary Period, perissodactyls were the dominant herbivorous fauna. Horses, tapirs, and rhinoceroses are perissodactyls. Also called odd-toed ungulate
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.