• synonyms


  1. walking on the whole sole of the foot, as humans, and bears.
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  1. a plantigrade animal.
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Origin of plantigrade

1825–35; < New Latin plantigradus, equivalent to Latin plant(a) sole + -i- -i- + -gradus -grade
Related formssub·plan·ti·grade, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for plantigrade

Historical Examples

  • Plantigrade: species that walk on the entire foot, not on the claws alone.

    Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology

    John. B. Smith

  • It is plantigrade —that is, it stands lower on the hind-legs than in front.

    The Western World

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • Very few animals do this, and those that do are said to be plantigrade.

  • It was none other than the paw-mark of Mr. Bear, who is a plantigrade and walks flat-footed.

    Everyday Adventures

    Samuel Scoville

  • All the limbs are plantigrade and pentedactylate, and the digits of the pes are clawed.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton

    Sidney H. Reynolds

British Dictionary definitions for plantigrade


  1. walking with the entire sole of the foot touching the ground, as, for example, man and bears
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  1. a plantigrade animal
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Word Origin

C19: via French from New Latin plantigradus, from Latin planta sole of the foot + gradus a step
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 plantigrade


1831, from French plantigrade "walking on the sole of the foot" (1795), from Latin planta "sole of the foot" (see plant (n.)) + gradus "step" (see grade (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

plantigrade in Medicine


  1. Walking with the entire sole on the ground, as humans do.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

plantigrade in Science


  1. Walking with the entire sole of the foot on the ground, as humans, bears, raccoons, and rabbits.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.