hermit crab

noun

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 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, "Colossal crabs may hold clue to Amelia Earhart fate," 20 Aug. 2019 Marine invertebrates—from octopuses to hermit crabs and creatures like the bizarre holothurians—are the focus of this photography book. Tim Flannery, The New York Review of Books, "Tim Flannery," 7 Mar. 2019 Susan Middleton’s Spineless reveals a world where hermit crabs resemble wizards carrying their own magic mountains on their backs, and where worms are transformed into exquisite, pearly necklaces. Tim Flannery, The New York Review of Books, "Tim Flannery," 7 Mar. 2019 Time your visit to the hour before or after low tide to explore the beach’s tide pools, teeming with starfish, mollusks and hermit crabs. Rico Gagliano, WSJ, "3 Quick Escapes From Los Angeles," 1 Aug. 2018 Some Shore restaurant spaces are like hermit crab shells. Craig Laban, Philly.com, "Jersey Shore restaurants offer tasty food options from Cape May to LBI," 29 June 2018 My mom also loaded me up with plants to take to my wife, so many plants, as well as three hermit crabs for my daughters. Greg Trotter, chicagotribune.com, "Buick LeSabre rolls on in memory of Mamaw," 21 June 2018 Officers found 41 deceased animals, including rabbits, snakes, hermit crabs, tarantulas, hamsters, mice and fish. Kaitlyn Schwers, kansascity, "Pet store was closed for maintenance. 41 animals were dead inside, Illinois cops say," 30 May 2018 Crabs and other critters It’s easy to spot hermit crabs, which inhabit other animal shells and live in the tidal pools. Susan Moeller, BostonGlobe.com, "A beachcombing guide: Things to find at the beach," 2 May 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of hermit crab

1735, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hermit crab

Time Traveler for hermit crab

Time Traveler

The first known use of hermit crab was in 1735

See more words from the same year

Statistics for hermit crab

Last Updated

4 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Hermit crab.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hermit%20crab. Accessed 12 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for hermit crab

hermit crab

noun

English Language Learners Definition of hermit crab

: a type of crab that lives in the empty shell of another animal (such as a snail)

hermit crab

noun

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

Comments on hermit crab

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a period of high artistic development

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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