dinosaur

\ \ [19] Dinosaur means literally ‘terrible lizard’ (something of a misnomer, since dinosaurs are not particularly closely related to modern lizards). The word was coined around 1840 from Greek deinósterrible’ (which goes back to the same Indo-European base, *dwei-, as produced English dire [16]) and sauroslizard’ (which occurs in its Latin form saurus in the names of specific dinosaurs, such as brontosaurus and tyrannosaurus).
\ \ Cf.DIRE

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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