ep·​i·​phragm ˈe-pə-ˌfram How to pronounce epiphragm (audio)
: a closing membrane or septum (as of a snail shell or a moss capsule)

Examples of epiphragm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In addition to keeping the snails safely secured to surfaces, this temporary adhesive, known as the epiphragm, retains moisture and prevents their bodies from drying out. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, 20 June 2019

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

Word History


borrowed from New Latin epiphragma, borrowed from Greek epíphragma "lid, cover," from epiphrak-, stem of epiphrássein "to block up" (from epi- epi- + phrássein, Attic phráttein "to fence in, enclose, block," of obscure origin) + -ma, resultative noun suffix

First Known Use

circa 1854, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of epiphragm was circa 1854

Dictionary Entries Near epiphragm

Cite this Entry

“Epiphragm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epiphragm. Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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