ceph·​a·​lo·​pod | \ ˈse-fə-lə-ˌpäd How to pronounce cephalopod (audio) \

Definition of cephalopod

: any of a class (Cephalopoda) of marine mollusks including the squids, cuttlefishes, and octopuses that move by expelling water from a tubular siphon under the head and that have a group of muscular usually sucker-bearing arms around the front of the head, highly developed eyes, and usually a sac containing ink which is ejected for defense or concealment

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cephalopod

cephalopod adjective

Examples of cephalopod in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Octopus and cephalopods, in general, are thought to be highly intelligent. Fox News, "Key to understanding aliens might be unlocked by octopus' tentacles," 2 July 2019 In the case of the cephalopod, that action changes how light is reflected off its skin. Washington Post, "How can an octopus help us stay warm?," 24 June 2019 The first photos of the cephalopod were taken by Japanese scientists in 2004, and the first video eight years later, also near Japan. Chase Purdy, Quartz, "Scientists spotted a rare giant squid swimming off the coast of Louisiana," 24 June 2019 The team plans to select one or more species of cephalopod — the group including squid, octopus, cuttlefish and nautilus — as part of their lineup. Quanta Magazine, "How to Grow a New Model Organism," 27 July 2016 This behavior is more akin to cuttlefish, another cephalopod noted for its social behavior. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Octopuses Take Ecstasy for Science and Become More Social Creatures," 20 Sep. 2018 Both are extinct species of small cephalopod mollusks and are in abundance on Charmouth Beach. David Shaftel, New York Times, "Searching for Dinosaurs in a Seaside English Town," 23 May 2018 An enormous 14-foot long squid has washed up on the shores of Wellington, New Zealand, prompting images of the colossal cephalopod to go viral. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "Monster squid goes viral after it washed up in New Zealand," 27 Aug. 2018 With Voight's help, Hartwell identified the plentiful cephalopods as part of the genus Muusoctopus—and possibly even a species new to science. National Geographic, "Deepest Octopus Nursery Discovered, Holds Dark Secret," 20 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cephalopod.' 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 cephalopod

1826, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cephalopod

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cephalopod

Statistics for cephalopod

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cephalopod

The first known use of cephalopod was in 1826

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on cephalopod

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cephalopod

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cephalopod

Comments on cephalopod

What made you want to look up cephalopod? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

Get Word of the Day daily email!

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!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!