an animal, especially a mammal, having four feet.

Origin of quadruped

1640–50; < Latin quadruped- (stem of quadrupēs), equivalent to quadru- quadru- + -ped- -ped
Related formsquad·ru·pe·dal [kwo-droo-pi-dl, kwod-roo-ped-l] /kwɒˈdru pɪ dl, ˌkwɒd rʊˈpɛd l/, adjectivequad·ru·ped·ism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for quadruped

Historical Examples of quadruped

  • A quadruped (the Splaypes humpidorsus) of great value to the show business.

  • The third keeper of the lighthouse is a quadruped called Tricky.

  • There was no evidence that any quadruped had descended the slope.

  • There was not one quadruped of any kind to be seen in or about that camp.

    Two Arrows

    William O. Stoddard

  • Was he a quadruped with mane and tail, or an allegory invented to typify destiny?

    A Day's Ride

    Charles James Lever

British Dictionary definitions for quadruped



an animal, esp a mammal, that has all four limbs specialized for walking


having four feet
Derived Formsquadrupedal (kwɒˈdruːpɪdəl, ˌkwɒdrʊˈpɛdəl), adjective

Word Origin for quadruped

C17: from Latin quadrupēs, from quadru- (see quadri-) + pēs 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 quadruped

1640s, from French quadrupède (16c.), from Latin quadrupes (genitive quadrupedis) "four-footed, on all fours," also, as a noun, "a four-footed animal," from quadri- "four" (see quadri-) + pes "foot" (see foot (n.)). The adjective is attested from 1741. Related: Quadrupedal (1610s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

quadruped in Science



An animal having four feet, such as most reptiles and mammals.
Related formsquadrupedal adjective (kwŏ-drōōpə-dəl, kwŏd′rə-pĕdl)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.