plural noun

: an order of small primitively wingless arthropods that are related to or sometimes classed among the true insects, are characterized by presence of a collophore on the first abdominal segment, not more than 6 abdominal segments, 3 pairs of legs, and usually a forked caudal furcula, are found especially in soil rich in organic debris or on the surface of snow or water, and comprise the springtails
collembolous adjective

Word History


New Latin, from coll- + -embola (from Greek embolos, embolon peg, wedge); from their collophore

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Dictionary Entries Near Collembola

Cite this Entry

“Collembola.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

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