bra·​chio·​pod ˈbrā-kē-ə-ˌpäd How to pronounce brachiopod (audio)
: any of a phylum (Brachiopoda) of marine invertebrates with bivalve shells within which is a pair of arms bearing tentacles by which a current of water is made to bring microscopic food to the mouth

called also lampshell

brachiopod adjective

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The event took its hardest toll on marine organisms such as corals, shelled brachiopods, eel-like creatures called conodonts, and the trilobites. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, 30 Sep. 2019 Invertebrate groups that experienced diversification included horseshoe crab-like trilobites, clams, clam-like brachiopods and a group called gastropods that included snails and slugs. Will Dunham, Washington Post, 24 Sep. 2019 The first saw the emergence of brachiopods and molluscs, the second that of annelids, cnidarians, echinoderms and chordates (a group that includes the vertebrates). The Economist, 7 June 2018 That is in contradistinction to Cambrian fossils, among which are found representatives of all the main animal groups (annelids, arthropods, brachiopods, chordates, cnidarians, echinoderms, molluscs and so on) that are around today. The Economist, 7 June 2018 The warm coastal waters surrounding Gondwana were perfect for new kinds of animals, like brachiopods, crinoids, ostracodes, cephalopods, corals, and bryozoans. Annalee Newitz, Ars Technica, 21 Nov. 2017 The creature has a shell like a brachiopod and has a tubular body similar to a group called phoronids or horseshoe worms. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, 12 Jan. 2017 Ancient creatures such as trilobites and brachiopods could not cope with the changes, and many of them went extinct. Alexandra Witze, WIRED, 5 Jan. 2011 See More

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

Word History


ultimately from Latin bracchium + Greek pod-, pous foot — more at foot

First Known Use

1814, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of brachiopod was in 1814

Dictionary Entries Near brachiopod

Cite this Entry

“Brachiopod.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


bra·​chio·​pod ˈbrā-kē-ə-ˌpäd How to pronounce brachiopod (audio)
: any of a phylum of invertebrate marine animals that have bivalve shells and a pair of arms bearing tentacles

called also lampshell

brachiopod adjective

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