Part of speech: Noun
Origin: Latin, 19th century
A carnivorous aquatic mammal of the order Pinnipedia, such as a seal or walrus.
Examples of Pinniped in a sentence
"Seals, sea lions, and walruses are all pinnipeds — carnivorous mammals who live in the water."
"Billy thinks all types of pinnipeds are adorable, even though he knows they can be dangerous."
Popularity Over Time
“Pinniped” was coined in the early 19th century by combining the suffix “-ped,” meaning “foot,” with the prefix “pinni-,” which refers to fins. From this, zoologists derived the biological suborder “Pinnipedia” consisting of 34 species of seals, walruses, and sea-lions.
Did you Know?
The Pinnipedia suborder of animal describes carnivorous aquatic mammals, but the term “pinniped” was once used to describe any creature whose feet were like fins—meaning seals, sea-lions, and walruses, but also certain crabs, birds, and sea-slugs.