gas·​tro·​pod ˈga-strə-ˌpäd How to pronounce gastropod (audio)
: any of a large class (Gastropoda) of mollusks (such as snails and slugs) usually with a univalve shell or none and a distinct head bearing sensory organs
gastropod adjective

Examples of gastropod in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This can happen if the gastropods eat the rat poop or if the ravenous larvae just bore into their soft bodies. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 22 Sep. 2023 The writer Patricia Highsmith reportedly nurtured 300 gastropods in her English garden. Ella Riley-Adams, New York Times, 8 Nov. 2023 Most of the gastropods were so small they could be distinguished only under a microscope. Robert Kunzig, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019 The size and shape of the tooth marks pointed to gastropods and octopuses as the likely culprits. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, 24 July 2023 Slowik said the cool, damp weather this summer in Southcentral Alaska may have played a role in the gastropods’ latest move. Annie Berman, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Aug. 2023 This week's question: Florida has been invaded by the giant African land snail, a banana-sized gastropod that devours foliage, gnaws on buildings, and transmits diseases and parasites in its trail of slime. The Week Staff, The Week, 30 June 2023 The few surviving partulids were rescued in the early 1990s, when zoos in Europe and the United States collaborated to breed 11 different species of the gastropods. Angela Wang, The Christian Science Monitor, 5 June 2023 Along the shoreline, billions of marine invertebrates—barnacles, mussels, oysters, clams, gastropods, crabs, sea stars—cooked alive. Marion Renault, The New Republic, 3 May 2023 See More

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

Word History


New Latin Gastropoda, class name

First Known Use

1826, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gastropod was in 1826

Dictionary Entries Near gastropod

Cite this Entry

“Gastropod.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


gas·​tro·​pod ˈgas-trə-ˌpäd How to pronounce gastropod (audio)
: any of a large class of mollusks (as snails) that have a muscular foot at the bottom and usually both a distinct head bearing sense organs and a spiral shell into which the body can be withdrawn
gastropod adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on gastropod

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