[ saw-rop-tuh-rij-ee-uhn ]

  1. any of various Mesozoic marine reptiles of the superorder Sauropterygia, including the suborder Plesiosauria.

  1. of or relating to a sauropterygian.

Origin of sauropterygian

First recorded in 1855–60; New Latin Sauropterygi(a) (equivalent to Greek saûro(s) “lizard” + pteryg- , stem of ptéryx “wing” + -ia ) + -an

Words Nearby sauropterygian Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

Scientific definitions for sauropterygian


[ sô-rŏp′tə-rĭjē-ən ]

  1. Any of various extinct aquatic reptiles of the group Sauropterygia of the Mesozoic Era. Sauropterygians were carnivorous, had paddlelike limbs, and included the plesiosaurs. They were distantly related to the dinosaurs.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.