Definition of pliosaur in English:



  • A plesiosaur with a short neck, large head, and massive toothed jaws.

    Family Pliosauridae, infraorder Plesiosauria: several genera, including Pliosaurus

    • ‘But pliosaurs had short necks and massive jaws that would have been capable of lifting a car and biting it in half.’
    • ‘An ancient animal that swam with pliosaurs 100 million years ago, and whose numbers once were so vast they could impede ships, the leatherback is among the most endangered of sea turtles.’
    • ‘On display are the opalized remains of a pliosaur, a prehistoric marine reptile, as well as the opalized remains of other extinct plant and animal life that existed in Australia more than 100 million years ago.’
    • ‘Although many of them had long necks and small heads, one group, the pliosaurs, had short necks and large heads.’
    • ‘One of the key attractions at the exhibition, which runs until June 11, is a gigantic pliosaur.’


Mid 19th century: from modern Latin Pliosaurus (genus name), from Greek pleiōn ‘more’ + sauros ‘lizard’ (because of its greater similarity to a lizard than the ichthyosaur).