ceph·​a·​lo·​pod | \ˈse-fə-lə-ˌpäd \

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

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Other Words from cephalopod

cephalopod adjective

Examples of cephalopod in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

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 Because of their complex brains, cephalopods became the first invertebrates to be protected by laboratory animal laws. Danna Staaf, Science | AAAS, "How to put an octopus to sleep—and make cephalopod research more humane," 4 Apr. 2018 The eight legs of the cephalopod represented the eight games the team needed to win in order to win the Stanley Cup. Chris Chase, For The Win, "The 9 weirdest fan traditions in sports, from fish throwing to celery," 16 Apr. 2018 Some studies have examined the cephalopod’s ability to discern objects of different sizes, shapes, colors, brightnesses and textures; and its problem-solving, including the ability to navigate mazes and open jars. C. Claiborne Ray, New York Times, "The Octopus: Stable Genius," 2 Feb. 2018 But a crucial question remained: Do the anesthetics widely used in cephalopods actually work? Danna Staaf, Science | AAAS, "How to put an octopus to sleep—and make cephalopod research more humane," 4 Apr. 2018 Critters from sea otters to cephalopods have been observed using tools in the wild. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Making tools gives crows a big food boost," 22 Jan. 2018 Autopsies from Gervais' beaked whale corpses tell us that the animals eat cephalopods, so Dykstra says the whales were probably drawn to squid that the sperm whales in the area were feeding on. National Geographic, "Exclusive: Rare, Mysterious Whales Filmed Professionally for the First Time," 9 Mar. 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.

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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

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Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for cephalopod

The first known use of cephalopod was in 1826

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cephalopod

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cephalopod

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