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platypus

[plat-i-puh s, -poo s]
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noun, plural plat·y·pus·es, plat·y·pi [plat-i-pahy] /ˈplæt ɪˌpaɪ/.
  1. 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.
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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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for platypus

Historical Examples

  • The platypus is a 'survival,' and it is likely to survive for many a generation.

    Australian Pictures

    Howard Willoughby

  • "There is nothing you can do," sighed the Platypus, now mournful and depressed.

    Dot and the Kangaroo

    Ethel C. Pedley

  • "Now we know one another's names," said the Platypus, with satisfaction.

    Dot and the Kangaroo

    Ethel C. Pedley

  • Fig. 25 shows the male genito-urinary tract and the cloaca in the monotreme, Platypus anatinus.

  • The undoubted likeness which their molar teeth show to the temporary teeth of the Platypus have already been commented upon.


British Dictionary definitions for platypus

platypus

noun plural -puses
  1. See duck-billed platypus
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Word Origin

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

n.

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]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper