bryo·​zo·​an ˌbrī-ə-ˈzō-ən How to pronounce bryozoan (audio)
: any of a phylum (Bryozoa) of aquatic mostly marine invertebrate animals that reproduce by budding and usually form permanently attached branched or mossy colonies
bryozoan adjective

Examples of bryozoan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In a study published in April 2023 in Nature Ecology & Evolution, a team of interdisciplinary scientists fished 105 pieces of plastic from the patch and found barnacles and bryozoans stuck to items like toothbrushes, clothes hangers and shampoo bottles. Tim Brinkhof, Discover Magazine, 25 Nov. 2023 Common coastal stowaways included amphipods, isopods, hydroids and bryozoans, most of which originated from the northwest Pacific. Tim Brinkhof, Discover Magazine, 25 Nov. 2023 As a result, the fossils found in shale are typically small, aquatic animals and plants, such as bryozoans, brachiopods and arthropods. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 28 Mar. 2023 In feeding experiments, the lobsters generally avoided whelks with the bryozoan on their shells, but happily consumed them if the shells were scraped clean. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 27 Aug. 2018 Barkai had noticed that in this area, this particular species of whelk was covered in an encrusting bryozoan (a somewhat coral-esque animal). Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 27 Aug. 2018 Then there are the bryozoans, a phylum of animals all its own. Joanna Klein, New York Times, 31 Mar. 2020 The most common critters were bryozoans—tiny invertebrates. Mark Fischetti, Scientific American, 30 Aug. 2019 Hunter speculates that crinoid rafts could have ferried additional stowaways including plants, bryozoans and crustaceans. Raleigh McElvery, Smithsonian, 12 Aug. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bryozoan.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin Bryozoa, phylum name (from bryo- bryo- + -zoa -zoa) + -an entry 1

Note: The taxon Bryozoa was introduced by the German naturalist Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg (1795-1876) in Symbolae physicae, Animalia evertebrata exclusis insectis, Series prima (Berlin, 1831).

First Known Use

1851, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bryozoan was in 1851

Dictionary Entries Near bryozoan

Cite this Entry

“Bryozoan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

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