chae·​ta ˈkē-tə How to pronounce chaeta (audio)
plural chaetae ˈkē-ˌtē How to pronounce chaeta (audio)
chaetal adjective

Word History


borrowed from Greek chaítē "growth of hair, flowing locks, mane of a horse," going back to Indo-European *ghai̯t- "growth of hair," whence also, from a presumed s-stem *ghai̯tes-, Middle Irish gaísid "coarse stubbly hair, bristles," gaísitech "coarse-haired, bristly," Avestan gaēsa- "curly hair," gaēsu- "curly-haired"

Note: A reconstruction *ghai̯t- is unsatisfactory for those who reject the possibility of Indo-European *a and would require a mechanical reconstruction with a laryngeal, as *gheh2it- or *ghh2ei̯t-.

First Known Use

circa 1866, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of chaeta was circa 1866

Dictionary Entries Near chaeta

Cite this Entry

“Chaeta.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

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