plesiosaur

[ plee-see-uh-sawr ]
/ ˈpli si əˌsɔr /

noun

any marine reptile of the extinct genus Plesiosaurus, from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, having a small head, a long neck, four paddlelike limbs, and a short tail.

Origin of plesiosaur

< New Latin Plesiosaurus (1821), equivalent to Greek plēsí(os) near, close to + -o- -o- + saûros -saur; orig. so named because of its conjectured nearness to modern reptiles, relative to the ichthyosaurs

OTHER WORDS FROM plesiosaur

ple·si·o·sau·roid, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for plesiosaur

  • In the popular mind, perhaps, the Ichthyosaur and Plesiosaur are the typical representatives of that extinct race.

  • The Plesiosaur, on the other hand, had a small and delicate head, with slender teeth and small eyes.

British Dictionary definitions for plesiosaur

plesiosaur
/ (ˈpliːsɪəˌsɔː) /

noun

any of various extinct marine reptiles of the order Sauropterygia, esp any of the suborder Plesiosauria, of Jurassic and Cretaceous times, having a long neck, short tail, and paddle-like limbsSee also ichthyosaur Compare dinosaur, pterosaur

Word Origin for plesiosaur

C19: from New Latin plēsiosaurus, from Greek plēsios near + sauros a lizard
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

Science definitions for plesiosaur

plesiosaur
[ plēsē-ə-sôr ]

Any of various large, extinct marine reptiles of the genus Plesiosaurus and related genera of the Mesozoic Era. Most plesiosaurs had a small head on a long neck and a broad body with paddlelike limbs; one group had a large head on a short neck. The exact relationship between plesiosaurs and other reptiles is not known.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.