Definition of hyracotherium in US English:



  • The earliest fossil ancestor of the horse. It was a small forest animal of the Eocene epoch, with four toes on the front feet and three on the back.

    Genus Hyracotherium, family Equidae

    Also called eohippus
    • ‘Scientists now believe that the hyracotherium ate meat and lived in the forest.’
    • ‘A close look at the teeth of hyracotherium, reveals a simple pattern of bumps and ridges on their chewing surfaces.’
    • ‘The hyracotherium was a small fox-sized four-toed creature, similar to the modern day hyrax.’


Modern Latin: from hyraco- (combining form from hyrax) + Greek thērion ‘wild animal’.