noun \mi-ˈdü-sə, -ˈdyü-, -zə\

Definition of MEDUSA

capitalized [Latin, from Greek Medousa] :  a mortal Gorgon who is slain when decapitated by Perseus
plural me·du·sae \-ˌsē, -ˌzē, -ˌsī, -ˌzī\ also medusas [New Latin, from Latin] :  jellyfish 1a
me·du·san \-sən, -zən\ adjective or noun
me·du·soid \-ˌsid, -ˌzid\ adjective or noun

First Known Use of MEDUSA

14th century

Rhymes with MEDUSA


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Medusa stage of a jellyfish—Tom McHugh—Photo Researchers

In zoology, one of the two principal cnidarian body forms; the typical form of the jellyfish. Its name derives from its tentacles, resembling the snakes borne by Medusa in place of hair. The medusoid body is bell- or umbrella-shaped. Hanging downward from the center is a stalklike structure, the manubrium, bearing the mouth at its tip. The mouth opens into the main body cavity, which connects with radial canals extending to the outer rim of the bell. A free-swimming form, the medusa moves by rhythmic muscular contractions of the bell, providing a slow propulsive action against the water. The other principal cnidarian body type is the polyp.


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