from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of several large thick-skinned ungulate mammals of the family Rhinocerotidae, having one or two upright horns on the snout, and including the black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) and white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) of Africa, the Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) of India and Nepal, and the Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) and Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) of Southeast Asia.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A large pachydermatous perissodactyl mammal with a horn on the nose; any member of the genus Rhinoceros or family Rhinocerotidæ. There are several living as well as many fossil species. They are huge ungainly quadrupeds, having an extremely thick and tough or hard skin, thrown into various buckler-like plates and folds. The legs are short, stout, and clumsy, with odd-toed feet, whose three digits are incased in separate hoofs. The tail is short; the ears are high and rather large; the head is very large and unshapely, supported upon a thick stocky neck; the muzzle is blunt, and the upper lip freely movable. The head is especially long in the nasal region, and there are usually one or two massive upright horns, without any bony core, the substance of the horn being epidermal only. When two horns are present they are one behind the other in the median line, and the hinder one rests over the frontal bone, the front one being in any case borne upon the nasal bones. Rhinoceroses live mainly in marshy places, in thick or rank vegetation, and subsist entirely upon vegetable food. The living species are now confined to the warmer parts of Africa and Asia, and are hairless or nearly so; but these animals formerly had a much more extensive range, not only in the Old World, but also in America. The best-known of the extinct species is R. tichorhinus, the woolly rhinoceros, which formerly ranged over Europe, including the British Isles. Of the existing one-horned species are the Indian rhinoceros, R. indicus or R. unicornis, which inhabits the warmer parts of Asia, attains a height of 5 feet, and has the horn short and stout; the Javan rhinoceros, R. sondaicus, or R. javanus, distinct from the Indian species, inhabiting Java, the Malay peninsula, etc.; the hairy-eared rhinoceros, R. lasiotis; and the African kobaoba, R. simus. The two-horned species include the Sumatran or Malaccan rhinoceros, R. suma-trensis; and the African keitloa, R. keitloa or bicornis. See also cut under Perissodactyla.
  • noun [capitalized] [NL. (Linnæus, 1758).] The typical genus of Rhinocerotidæ, containing all the living and some of the extinct forms. See above.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) Any pachyderm belonging to the genera Rhinoceros, Atelodus, and several allied genera of the family Rhinocerotidæ, of which several living, and many extinct, species are known. They are large and powerful, and usually have either one or two stout conical median horns on the snout.
  • noun (Zoöl.) an auk of the North Pacific (Cerorhina monocrata) which has a deciduous horn on top of the bill.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a very large beetle of the genus Dynastes, having a horn on the head.
  • noun (Zoöl.) An African beefeater (Buphaga Africana). It alights on the back of the rhinoceros in search of parasitic insects.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any of several large herbivorous pachyderms native to Africa and Asia of the five genera in the family Rhinocerotidae, with thick, gray skin and one or two horns on their snouts.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun massive powerful herbivorous odd-toed ungulate of southeast Asia and Africa having very thick skin and one or two horns on the snout


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

[Middle English rinoceros, from Latin rhīnocerōs, from Greek rhīnokerōs : rhīno-, rhino- + keras, horn; see ker- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin rhinoceros, from Ancient Greek ῥινόκερως (rhinokerōs), composed of ῥίς (rhis, "nose") + κέρας (kéras, "horn").


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  • A rhinoceros' horn is made of compacted hair.

    May 7, 2008

  • seriously?

    May 7, 2008