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 small hermit crab measures less than 1 centimeter, according to the university. Moira Ritter, Miami Herald, 7 Mar. 2024 Still, there were hermit crabs and lizards creeping among the sea grapes, as there had been for millions of years, and wild cotton along the edges of the cliffs. Carina Del Valle Schorske, New York Times, 20 Mar. 2024 See it After examining the male specimen, the scientists determined the creature was actually a new species of hermit crab: Trichopagurus spinibrachium, or the Dokutsuyawakudaya hermit crab. Moira Ritter, Miami Herald, 7 Mar. 2024 Unfortunately, those hermit crabs also get trapped. Popsci Staff, Popular Science, 28 Feb. 2024 At 231 Mysterium Way, the pizza is fatal, the bus is powered by gerbils and the dean of students is a hermit crab. Lizz Schumer, Peoplemag, 12 Feb. 2024 At 231 Mysterium Way, the pizza is fatal, the bus is powered by gerbils, and the dean of students is a hermit crab. Lexy Perez, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Feb. 2024 Whether kept as pets or spotted along a seashore, hermit crabs are a familiar sight. Aspen Pflughoeft, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024 Of the world’s 16 terrestrial hermit crab species, ten have been spotted wearing our trash—and the behavior occurred in every tropical region on Earth. Christian Thorsberg, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hermit crab.' 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

1735, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hermit crab was in 1735

Dictionary Entries Near hermit crab

Cite this Entry

“Hermit crab.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hermit%20crab. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

hermit crab

: any of various small crabs that occupy empty mollusk shells

More from Merriam-Webster on hermit crab

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