Definition of dinosaur in English:



  • 1A fossil reptile of the Mesozoic era, often reaching an enormous size.

    • ‘Ichthyosaurs were not dinosaurs, but represent a separate group of marine vertebrates.’
    • ‘There is the added question of how the dinosaurs are to be fossilised in a desert.’
    • ‘The size of dinosaurs, whales, and elephants should serve as an example.’
    • ‘At the foot of the mountain, colourful fossils of shells and dinosaurs add a mysterious flavour to the place.’
    • ‘These great birds were the last successors of the mighty theropod dinosaurs of the Mesozoic.’
    • ‘He was also able to travel to Bloemfontein to compare the fossils with those of an early dinosaur in the National Museum.’
    • ‘It was a fairly large dinosaur, the same size as the future Tyrannosaurus Rex.’
    • ‘His work provided strong, compelling support for the theory that birds are theropod dinosaurs.’
    • ‘If it is alive then it probably is not a dinosaur, since dinosaurs are extinct.’
    • ‘Birds arose from theropod dinosaurs at some point in the Jurassic, according to present knowledge.’
    • ‘They do still have two skeletons of Tarbosaurus, a theropod dinosaur related to Tyrannosaurus rex.’
    • ‘There were many kinds of ornithischian dinosaurs, dating back to the early Jurassic.’
    • ‘At the time, paleontologists were stuck in a reptilian perspective on dinosaurs.’
    • ‘The ornithopod dinosaurs that left these tracks may have been quadrupedal, walking on all fours.’
    • ‘The dinosaurs of the Mesozoic era in a sense presaged the birds and mammals of the Cenozoic era.’
    • ‘These were the fragmentary remains of an armored dinosaur, an ankylosaur.’
    • ‘The ornithodires went on to produce pterosaurs and dinosaurs, including the birds.’
    • ‘The layer was generally at the place in the fossil record where the dinosaurs disappeared.’
    • ‘More distantly related to true dinosaurs were the marine plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs.’
    • ‘We are so used to the enormous size of dinosaurs that we almost forget to think about how they grew to be so large.’
    fogey, old fogey, conservative, traditionalist, conventionalist, diehard, conformist, bourgeois, museum piece, fossil, troglodyte
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  • 2A person or thing that is outdated or has become obsolete because of failure to adapt to changing circumstances.

    • ‘This ballet is a bit of a dinosaur.’
    • ‘She said: "I suppose at 30 I'm considered a bit of a dinosaur in the industry."’
    • ‘I still get invites but I feel like a dinosaur and a bit of a has-been now.’
    • ‘He is like a Tyrannosaurus Rex, leading a herd of corporate dinosaurs over the cliff and bellowing as he goes.’


Mid 19th century: from modern Latin dinosaurus, from Greek deinos ‘terrible’ + sauros ‘lizard’.