grap·​to·​lite | \ ˈgrap-tə-ˌlīt How to pronounce graptolite (audio) \

Definition of graptolite

: any of an extinct class (Graptolithina) of hemichordate colonial marine animals of the Paleozoic era with zooids contained in conical cups along a chitinous support

Examples of graptolite in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

One of the most emblematic animals of the Ordovician Radiation is the now-extinct graptolite. Annalee Newitz, Ars Technica, "If you liked the Cambrian Explosion, you’ll love the Ordovician Radiation," 21 Nov. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'graptolite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of graptolite

1841, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for graptolite

Greek graptos painted (from graphein to write, paint) + English -lite — more at carve

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about graptolite

Statistics for graptolite

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for graptolite

The first known use of graptolite was in 1841

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on graptolite Encyclopedia article about graptolite

Comments on graptolite

What made you want to look up graptolite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not constant or steady

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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