[vuh-los-uh-rap-ter, ‐tawr]
  1. a small carnivorous dinosaur of the genus Velociraptor, from the late Cretaceous period, capable of leaping, and growing to a length of about 6 feet (2 meters), having feathers, a flat snout, short forelimbs with large handlike talons, and a large sickle-shaped claw on each foot.

Origin of velociraptor

1920–25; < New Latin, equivalent to veloci-, stem of vēlox “swift, quick” + raptor Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Word Origin and History for velociraptor

1924, from Latin velox (genitive velocis) "swift" (see velocity) + raptor "robber" (see raptor).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

velociraptor in Science


  1. A small, fast, carnivorous dinosaur of the genus Velociraptor of the Cretaceous Period that was about 2 m (6.5 ft) in length. It had long curved claws for grasping and tearing at prey, walked on two legs that were adapted for leaping, and had a long stiff tail used as a counterweight. Velociraptors were a kind of raptor.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.