hermit crab


Definition of hermit crab

: any of numerous chiefly marine small decapod crustaceans (especially families Diogenidae, Paguridae, and Parapaguridae) having soft asymmetrical abdomens and occupying the empty shells of gastropods

Illustration of hermit crab

Illustration of hermit crab

Examples of hermit crab in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The hermit crab shells found in this survey were heavily damaged, and researchers suggested this was a sign of cannibalism or competition for lodging among hermit crabs that were stuck. Sherry Liang, CNN, 29 Oct. 2021 In rough weather, however, Derreumaux will have to climb inside the cabin and hunker down like a hermit crab rather than power through. Gregory Thomas, San Francisco Chronicle, 30 May 2021 Take the king crab’s ancestor, for instance—the hermit crab. Sara Kiley Watson, Popular Science, 14 Dec. 2020 She’s like a creature of the earth, a veritable human hermit crab. Justin Chang Film Critic, Los Angeles Times, 12 Nov. 2020 In the mix there was a giant hermit crab, a polar bear taking a selfie next to a narwhal, a mushroom cap, Mr. Potato Head, Snoopy and an octopus emerging from the pages of an open book and gripping its tentacles around a submarine. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Mar. 2020 That may make hermit crabs one of the first animals known to experience wealth inequality. Elizabeth Preston, New York Times, 13 Dec. 2019 In one famous photograph a mannequin’s hand protrudes from the shell of a hermit crab, which sits on a beach below a stormy sky (Untitled, Hand-Shell, 1934. Pictured, top). The Economist, 3 Dec. 2019 Crabs—coconut crabs plus the smaller, more numerous strawberry hermit crabs—swarmed the body, removing most of the flesh within two weeks. Rachel Hartigan Shea, National Geographic, 20 Aug. 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of hermit crab

1735, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of hermit crab was in 1735

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Dictionary Entries Near hermit crab


hermit crab

hermit crow

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Cite this Entry

“Hermit crab.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hermit%20crab. Accessed 27 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for hermit crab

hermit crab


Kids Definition of hermit crab

: a small crab that lives in the empty shells of mollusks (as snails)

More from Merriam-Webster on hermit crab

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hermit crab


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