box jellyfish

noun
variants: or less commonly box jelly

Definition of box jellyfish

: any of various cube-shaped scyphozoan jellyfishes (order or suborder Cubomedusae) of tropical and warm marine waters that inflict a painful and sometimes fatal sting especially : an extremely venomous box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri) of Australia that has a bell that may reach over 11 inches (28 centimeters) in width with tentacles that may reach a length of over 78 inches (2 meters) : sea wasp Found in the waters off northern Australia, the box jellyfish … is not the only marine invertebrate to use venom, but it is the possessor of arguably the most lethal venom in the world. — Jamie Seymour

Examples of box jellyfish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In unregulated economies, children are sometimes deputized to harvest box jellyfish for diners. New York Times, 28 Sep. 2021 Not only that, but box jellyfish also distinguish themselves from other species by using sight to keep from bumping into obstacles on the ocean floor. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, 19 Mar. 2021 The humble box jellyfish, which has wandered the ocean for at least 500 million years, can kill a human in five minutes flat. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 Oct. 2020 Stings by certain species of box jellyfish, including Irukandji species, have caused deaths in the Indo-Pacific. Michele Chabin, Washington Post, 5 July 2019 Some jellyfish, like the deadly box jellyfish, use toxins that punch holes in skin, blood, and nerve cells alike. National Geographic, 28 June 2018 The analogy here is if Trump argued for the eradication of sharks because of the number of people killed at American beaches — but never talked about the number killed by the box jellyfish. Philip Bump, Washington Post, 19 Jan. 2018 In two separate studies published in the journal Toxins, researchers looked at treatments for both the box jellyfish (some species of which can be fatal in severe cases) and the Portuguese man-of-war. Ilima Loomis, Smithsonian, 6 June 2017 The box jellyfish grazed my thigh first, before wrapping itself around Sean’s legs below me. Shannon Leone Fowler, The Cut, 31 Aug. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of box jellyfish

1960, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for box jellyfish

from its square shape

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About box jellyfish

Time Traveler for box jellyfish

Time Traveler

The first known use of box jellyfish was in 1960

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near box jellyfish

box jacket

box jellyfish

box jig

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for box jellyfish

Last Updated

12 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Box jellyfish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/box%20jellyfish. Accessed 22 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for box jellyfish

box jellyfish

noun

Medical Definition of box jellyfish

More from Merriam-Webster on box jellyfish

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about box jellyfish

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

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!