[plat-i-puh s, -poo s]
- 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.
Origin of platypus
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
The platypus is a 'survival,' and it is likely to survive for many a generation.Australian Pictures
"There is nothing you can do," sighed the Platypus, now mournful and depressed.
"Now we know one another's names," said the Platypus, with satisfaction.
Fig. 25 shows the male genito-urinary tract and the cloaca in the monotreme, Platypus anatinus.The Anatomy of the Human Peritoneum and Abdominal Cavity
George. S. Huntington
The undoubted likeness which their molar teeth show to the temporary teeth of the Platypus have already been commented upon.The Cambridge Natural History, Vol X., Mammalia
Frank Evers Beddard
C18: New Latin, from platy- + -pus, from Greek pous foot
Word Origin and History for platypus
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