[ plat-i-puh s, -poo s ]
/ ˈplæt ɪ pəs, -ˌpʊs /

noun, plural plat·y·pus·es, plat·y·pi [plat-i-pahy] /ˈplæt ɪˌpaɪ/.

a small, aquatic, egg-laying monotreme, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, of Australia and Tasmania, having webbed feet, a tail like that of a beaver, a sensitive bill resembling that of a duck, and, in adult males, venom-injecting spurs on the ankles of the hind limbs, used primarily for fighting with other males during the breeding season.

Nearby words

  1. platykurtic,
  2. platykurtosis,
  3. platypellic pelvis,
  4. platypnea,
  5. platypod,
  6. platyrrhine,
  7. platysma,
  8. platyspondylia,
  9. plaudit,
  10. plaudits

Origin of platypus

1790–1800; < New Latin < Greek platýpous flat-footed, equivalent to platy- platy- + -pous, adj. derivative of poús foot

Also called duckbill, duckbilled platypus. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for platypus

British Dictionary definitions for platypus


/ (ˈplætɪpəs) /

noun plural -puses

Word Origin for platypus

C18: New Latin, from platy- + -pus, from Greek pous foot

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 platypus



Australian duck-mole, 1799, from Modern Latin, from Greek platypous, literally "flat-footed," from platys "broad, flat" (see plaice (n.)) + pous "foot" (see foot).

Orig. the generic name, but, having already been given to a genus of beetles, it was in 1800 changed for Ornithorhyncus. [OED]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper