"Australian duck-mole," 1799, from Modern Latin, from Greek platypous, literally "flat-footed," from platys "broad, flat" (from PIE root *plat- "to spread") + pous "foot," from PIE root *ped- "foot." Originally the genus name, but entomologists had given it earlier to a genus of beetles; it was retained for the species after the genus name was changed in 1800 to Ornithorhyncus. OED has Australian platypussary (1945) "enclosure in which platypuses are kept."
updated on July 08, 2020
Dictionary entries near platypus