a. often Troglodyte A member of a fabulous or prehistoric race of people that lived in caves, dens, or holes.
b. A person considered to be reclusive, reactionary, out of date, or brutish.
a. A nonhuman ape. Not in scientific use.
b. An animal that lives underground, as an ant or a worm. Not in scientific use.
[From Latin Trōglodytae, a people said to be cave dwellers, from Greek Trōglodutai, alteration (influenced by trōglē, hole, and -dutai, those who enter) of Trōgodutai.]
trog′lo·dytic (-dĭtĭk), trog′lo·dyti·cal (-ĭ-kəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.