Definition of millipede
: any of a class (Diplopoda) of myriapod arthropods having usually a cylindrical segmented body covered with hard integument, two pairs of legs on most apparent segments, and unlike centipedes no poison fangs
Did You Know?
The earth is home to about 10,000 species of millipedes. Though they have no poison fangs, many of them can, when threatened, emit a liquid or gas poisonous to their enemies. If their structure were true to their name, millipedes would have a thousand legs, but in fact they have far fewer. Even so, a millipede in motion is a sight to ponder: How can it possibly coordinate all those legs so that it doesn't trip over itself? Like some tiny conga line or bunny hop, it scuttles away to a rhythm only it can hear.
Origin and Etymology of millipede
Latin millepeda, a small crawling animal, from mille thousand + ped-, pes foot — more at foot
First Known Use: 1601
MILLIPEDE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of millipede for English Language Learners
: a small creature that is like an insect and that has a long, thin body with many legs
MILLIPEDE Defined for Kids
Definition of millipede for Students
: an animal that is an arthropod with a long roundish body somewhat like that of a centipede but with two pairs of legs on most of its many body sections
Medical Definition of millipede
: any of a class (Diplopoda) of arthropods having usually a cylindrical segmented body, two pairs of legs on most segments, and including some forms that secrete toxic substances causing skin irritation but that unlike centipedes possess no poison fangs
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