any of a number of genera of flying reptiles of the extinct order Pterosauria, from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, having a highly reduced tail and teeth and a birdlike beak.
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- pter·o·dac·tyl·ic, pter·o·dac·tyl·ous, adjective
- pter·o·dac·tyl·id, adjective, noun
- pter·o·dac·tyl·oid, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use pterodactyl in a sentence
I ponder the selection (pterodactyl, triceratops, etc) before settling on a T-Rex.
At the bar, you can order $5 ptero-daiquiri shots—a sign advertises them with a cartoon pterodactyl and a “Rawwr!!!”
Before they could get any more bright ideas, I threw the switch and my plastic pterodactyl sailed in through the door.The Repairman | Harry Harrison
You can't say too much for the picturesqueness of the pterodactyl—he was the triumph of his period.Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete | Albert Bigelow Paine
Over the waters flew another bird-like, fish-like, bat-like thing called the pterodactyl.The Adventures of a Grain of Dust | Hallam Hawksworth
Twice in succession he refused a second help of pterodactyl at the tribal luncheon table.
He looks like an intoxicated pterodactyl,” said Mr. Lonergan, who had some knowledge of prehistoric animals,—“only hairier.Philo Gubb Correspondence-School Detective | Ellis Parker Butler
British Dictionary definitions for pterodactyl
any extinct flying reptile of the genus Pterodactylus and related genera, having membranous wings supported on an elongated fourth digit: See also pterosaur
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
Scientific definitions for pterodactyl
Any of various small, extinct flying reptiles (pterosaurs) of the genus Pterodactylus of the late Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods. Pterodactyls had long, narrow jaws with sharp teeth, and a wingspan of 1 m (3.3 ft) or less.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.