• synonyms


[sfee-nuh-don, sfen-uh-]
  1. tuatara.
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Origin of sphenodon

1875–80; < New Latin: genus name (orig. Sphaenodon), equivalent to Greek sphēn- sphen- + -odōn -toothed (see -odont)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sphenodon

Historical Examples of sphenodon

  • In the young Sphenodon the vomers bear teeth, as they do also in Proterosaurus.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton

    Sidney H. Reynolds

  • In Sphenodon the anterior pterygoid muscle arises from the dorsal surface of the pterygoid bone and from the adjacent bones.

  • I described to her the brain, the pineal organ in Anguis, Sphenodon's pineal eye, etc.

    The Journal of a Disappointed Man

    Wilhelm Nero Pilate Barbellion

  • This most exceptional of lizards is one found in New Zealand, and named Sphenodon.

  • Anyhow, Sphenodon is the reptile which stands nearest to the main stem of our ancestry.

    The Last Link

    Ernst Haeckel

British Dictionary definitions for sphenodon


  1. the technical name for the tuatara
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Word Origin for sphenodon

C19: from Greek sphēn a wedge + odōn a tooth
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