box jellyfish

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 Stings by certain species of box jellyfish, including Irukandji species, have caused deaths in the Indo-Pacific. Michele Chabin, Washington Post, "How to handle the worldwide jellyfish threat (no, don’t treat stings with urine)," 5 July 2019 Some jellyfish, like the deadly box jellyfish, use toxins that punch holes in skin, blood, and nerve cells alike. National Geographic, "What's Giving Some Beachgoers Rashes? Get the Facts.," 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, "Trump seems to think that sharks are ocean terrorists," 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, "Forget What You’ve Heard About the Pee Cure, Here’s How to Really Fix a Jellyfish Sting," 6 June 2017 The box jellyfish grazed my thigh first, before wrapping itself around Sean’s legs below me. Shannon Leone Fowler, The Cut, "When Every Relationship Is an Accidental Love Triangle," 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.

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First Known Use of box jellyfish

1962, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for box jellyfish

from its square shape

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The first known use of box jellyfish was in 1962

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Cite this Entry

“Box jellyfish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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