horseshoe crab

noun
Updated on: 29 Mar 2018

Definition of horseshoe crab

: any of several closely related marine arthropods (order Xiphosura and class Merostomata) with a broad crescentic cephalothorax, six pairs of legs, and a spikelike tail; especially : one (Limulus polyphemus) of coastal waters from Maine to the Yucatán Peninsula called also king crab

Recent Examples of horseshoe crab from the Web

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

First Known Use of horseshoe crab

1797

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

Learn More about horseshoe crab


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to treat with excessive attention

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks Quiz

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!