ar·​thro·​pod | \ ˈär-thrə-ˌpäd How to pronounce arthropod (audio) \

Definition of arthropod

: any of a phylum (Arthropoda) of invertebrate animals (such as insects, arachnids, and crustaceans) that have a segmented body and jointed appendages, a usually chitinous exoskeleton molted at intervals, and a dorsal anterior brain connected to a ventral chain of ganglia

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Other Words from arthropod

arthropod adjective
arthropodan \ är-​ˈthrä-​pə-​dən How to pronounce arthropodan (audio) \ adjective

Examples of arthropod in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Across the natural world — in vertebrates, arthropods and plants — new species most often arise after a little more than 2 million years. Quanta Magazine, "A Surprise for Evolution in Giant Tree of Life," 5 May 2015 The mealworms that stuffed themselves on plastic were in turn fed to Pacific whiteleg shrimp, tasty arthropods commonly sold in supermarkets for human consumption. Peter Fimrite,, "Plastic-munching mealworms may be key to helping clean environment," 19 Dec. 2019 Add it all up, and light is one of the major causes of mortality for arthropods. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "The Devastating Role of Light Pollution in the ‘Insect Apocalypse’," 26 Nov. 2019 Amphibians, mollusks and arthropods – including the Sonoran tiger salamander, white wartyback pearly mussel and Florida leafwing butterfly – were sensitive to the greatest number of factors related to climate change. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Feds aren't doing enough to protect endangered species from climate change, study finds," 19 Nov. 2019 As far as prevention goes, Dr. Bhuyan says the best way to avoid typhus is to steer clear of arthropods (fleas, ticks, mites, and lice) that spread it. Sarah Klein,, "What Is Typhus? Everything You Need to Know About the Flea-Borne Disease," 31 Oct. 2019 Indeed, this fossil could be a missing link between animals with no segments, like simple worms, and arthropods, like insects and lobsters. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Ancient wormlike animal caught in its tracks sheds light on early locomotion," 4 Sep. 2019 Cambroraster falcatus was an ancient, primitive arthropod that dominated the ocean approximately 506 million years ago during the Cambrian period. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Ancient Anthropod Named After Star Wars' Millennium Falcon," 31 July 2019 And the team found that artificial traps with feathers around them captured more wandering arthropods than those without. Joshua Rapp Learn, Scientific American, "Brazilian Ants Build Unusual Trap for Bugs," 8 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arthropod.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of arthropod

1857, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for arthropod

New Latin Arthropoda, from arthr- + Greek pod-, pous foot — more at foot

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Time Traveler for arthropod

Time Traveler

The first known use of arthropod was in 1857

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Statistics for arthropod

Last Updated

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Arthropod.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for arthropod


ar·​thro·​pod | \ ˈär-thrə-ˌpäd How to pronounce arthropod (audio) \

Kids Definition of arthropod

: any of a large group of animals (as crabs, insects, and spiders) with jointed limbs and a body made up of segments

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More from Merriam-Webster on arthropod

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with arthropod

Spanish Central: Translation of arthropod

Nglish: Translation of arthropod for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about arthropod

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