Definition of Chiroptera in US English:


plural noun

  • An order of mammals that comprises the bats. There are over 900 living species of bats, and they are found on every continent except Antarctica.

    • ‘Let's investigate the origin and evolution of flight in our representative taxa: the Pterosauria, Aves, and Chiroptera (bats).’
    • ‘All bats belong to the order Chiroptera, meaning ‘hand-wing.’’
    • ‘The traditional subdivision of the Chiroptera into megabats and microbats may not accurately reflect evolutionary history.’
    • ‘Depending on the rodent species considered, however, some comparisons of Rodentia versus Cetacea and Chiroptera did not support rate differences.’
    • ‘Maps for the Insectivora, Chiroptera, and Cetacea are not included in this chapter.’


Modern Latin (plural), from chiro- ‘hand’ + Greek pteron ‘wing’.