A small extinct vertebrate of the genus Archaeopteryx of the Jurassic Period, having feathered wings with claws and a long toothed snout. It has been classified variously as a prehistoric bird and as a theropod dinosaur.
[New Latin Archaeopteryx, genus name : ARCHAEO- + Greek pterux, wing; see pet- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)archaeopteryx
cast of an archaeopteryx fossil
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:
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