Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Having three toes, claws, or similar parts on each limb.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having three digits on a limb.
  • adj. Composed of three movable parts attached to a common base.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having three fingers or toes, or composed of three movable parts attached to a common base.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having three digits, whether fingers or toes; tridigitate.
  • Having three digital parts or processes. Also tridactylous.

Etymologies

Greek tridaktulos, three-fingered : tri-, tri-; see trei- in Indo-European roots + daktulos, finger.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
tri- + Ancient Greek δάκτυλος (dáktulos, "finger"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Or even tridactyl, like your emu claws, but … I counted.

    Ancient, Strange, and Lovely

  • Your emu, by contrast, has three toes in a tridactyl arrangement.

    Ancient, Strange, and Lovely

  • Interestingly, they used tree kangaroos as a model, and the feet of the dinosauroid are not tridactyl and clawed as usually shown in drawings, but four-toed, with nails rather than claws, and with the two medial toes smaller than the lateral ones.

    Dinosauroids revisited

  • This contrasts with the dipodine jerboas Paradipus, Dipus, Stylodipus, Eremodipus and Jaculus, all of which lack lateral digits and are tridactyl.

    Archive 2006-03-01

  • The largest, tridactyl footprint can be ascribed to a right foot of a rhinoceros.

    No joke: someone stepped in it - The Panda's Thumb

  • Desiccation is obvious in one specimen with a rather small tridactyl imprint since it presents some thin cracks or fissures.

    No joke: someone stepped in it - The Panda's Thumb

  • Both tridactyl imprints may have been produced by the coprolite-makers.

    No joke: someone stepped in it - The Panda's Thumb

  • A smaller coprolite Va2 unit shows a tridactyl, left foot impression of a perissodactyl.

    The Panda's Thumb: March 2006 Archives

  • The tridactyl species are as expert climbers as any members of the family, and are extremely hardy birds, too, some of them dwelling the year round in cold northern climates, where the food question must often be a serious one.

    Our Bird Comrades

  • Curious to tell, several species of woodpeckers are tridactyl -- that is, three-toed -- and still more curious is the fact that in their case the true hind toe is lacking, while the outer front toe is bent backward, or "reversed," as it is called, and is thus made to do service for a hind toe.

    Our Bird Comrades

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Comments

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  • ... could be counted on the fingers of Ashley's hands, and he was a tridactyl - if you didn't count his four thumbs.

    The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde.

    September 2, 2008