One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A genus of small, bipedal, carnivorous theropod dinosaurs (coelurosaurs) of the Jurassic period; (also ornitholestes) a dinosaur of this genus.
Early 20th century. From scientific Latin Ornitholestes, genus name from ancient Greek ὀρνιθο- + λῃστής robber, plunderer from ληΐθεσθαι to seize, carry off as booty (from ληΐς booty, plunder (from the same base as λεία booty, plunder, of unknown origin + -ις) + -ίζεσθαι, middle form corresponding to -ίζειν) + -της, suffix forming agent nouns.
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