Rhizocephala

plural noun
Rhi·​zo·​ceph·​a·​la | \ ˌrīzōˈsefələ \

Definition of Rhizocephala

: an order of Cirripedia comprising extremely degenerate forms that live as parasites on crabs and hermit crabs, are hermaphroditic though complementary males occur, when young pass through stages similiar to those of a developing barnacle, and afterward attach themselves to suitable hosts where after a complex series of changes they become limbless unsegmented tumid sacs attached by a short peduncle from which rootlike processes penetrate to all parts of the host and absorb its juices — see peltogaster , sacculina

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for Rhizocephala

New Latin, from rhiz- + -cephala

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Rhizocephala

Statistics for Rhizocephala

Cite this Entry

“Rhizocephala.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Rhizocephala. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

Comments on Rhizocephala

What made you want to look up Rhizocephala? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!