Definition of digitigrade in English:



  • (of a mammal) walking on its toes and not touching the ground with its heels, as a dog, cat, or rodent.

    Compare with plantigrade

    ‘Because of their digitigrade stance, walking down stairs was difficult for them to do rapidly.’
    • ‘Bear in mind that this rule applies even in the case of extreme digitigrade organisms in which a ‘ventral’ or ‘plantar’ view of the ankle in a natural life position requires one to look down on the tarsals and see the top side of the foot.’
    • ‘Thus, by the early Late Triassic sauropods had relatively small forefeet that were held in a nearly vertical, digitigrade posture in which the five weight-bearing digits were arranged in a gentle arch.’
    • ‘They differ from other dasyuroids most conspicuously in their size and body form; these large, wolflike animals reached a weight of 35 kg and had long, canid like limbs with digitigrade posture.’
    • ‘She stands on powerful digitigrade legs, which appear to have both tremendous strength as well as speed.’



/ˈdijədəˌɡrād/ /ˈdɪdʒədəˌɡreɪd/


Mid 19th century from Latin digitus ‘finger, toe’ + -gradus ‘-walking’.