Definition of dinosaur in English:



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

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  • 2A person or thing that is outdated or has become obsolete because of failure to adapt to changing circumstances.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