hip•po•camp (hĭpə-kămp′) or hip•po•cam•pus(hĭp′ə-kămpəs)
n.pl. hip•po•camps or hip•po•cam•pi(-pī′)
Greek & Roman Mythology
A marine creature having the head and forelegs of a horse and the body and tail of a dolphin or fish.
[Late Latin, fromGreekhippokampos : hippos, horse; see ekwo- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + kampos, sea monster.]
(click for a larger image)hippocamp
detail of a mosaic at the Roman Baths
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.