clasp·​er ˈkla-spər How to pronounce clasper (audio)
: a male copulatory structure:
: one of a pair of external anal processes of an insect that are used to grasp a female
: one of a pair of organs that are extensions of the pelvic fins of cartilaginous fishes

Examples of clasper in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Analysis on the ostracod samples, which date from the Cretaceous period, also revealed rare details of the crustacean's internal and reproductive organs, including the male clasper, sperm pumps, hemipenes, eggs and female seminal receptacles with giant sperm. Amy Woodyatt, CNN, 17 Sep. 2020 The discovery of clasper limbs in a fossil suggests that some species of the ancient arthropods reproduced much like modern horseshoe crabs. New York Times, 6 May 2022 The structure and placement of these clasper-like appendages on the trilobite are slightly different from those of living horseshoe crabs. New York Times, 6 May 2022 Male sharks internally fertilize females with one of their two sperm-transfer organs, called claspers. National Geographic, 27 May 2017 Claspers are penis-like organs male sharks use to transfer seminal fluid into the vent of a female. National Geographic, 14 Jan. 2017 In some species, the claspers are held in place by spiny projections. National Geographic, 14 Jan. 2017 In males the pelvic claspers, used in mating, glow. David Gruber, National Geographic, 25 Apr. 2016 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1847, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of clasper was circa 1847

Dictionary Entries Near clasper

Cite this Entry

“Clasper.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

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