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

  • n. A large, chiefly aquatic African herbivorous mammal (Hippopotamus amphibius) having thick, dark, almost hairless skin, short legs with four toes, and a broad, wide-mouthed muzzle. Also called river horse.
  • n. The pygmy hippopotamus.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A large, semi-aquatic, herbivorous (plant-eating) African mammal (Hippopotamus amphibius) that spends most of the day living in water, but comes on to land at night to feed. Of all living land animals, only the rhinoceros and elephant are larger.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A large, amphibious, herbivorous mammal (Hippopotamus amphibius), common in the rivers of tropical Africa. It is allied to the hogs, and has a very thick, naked skin, a thick and square head, a very large muzzle, small eyes and ears, thick and heavy body, and short legs. It is supposed to be the behemoth of the Bible. Called also zeekoe, and river horse. A smaller species (Hippopotamus Liberiencis) inhabits Western Africa.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An omnivorous ungulate pachydermatous mammal of the genus Hippopotamus or family Hippopotamidæ.
  • n. [capitalized] [NL.] The typical genus of Hippopotamidæ, characterized by the presence of only four lower incisors. H. amphibius is the only living species.

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

  • n. massive thick-skinned herbivorous animal living in or around rivers of tropical Africa


Latin, from Greek hippopotamos : hippos, horse; + potamos, river.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin and New Latin hippopotamus, from Ancient Greek ἱπποπόταμος (hippopotamos), from ἵππος (hippos, "horse") (English hippo-) + ποταμός (potamos, "river"). (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.