nautilus

noun

nau·​ti·​lus ˈnȯ-tə-ləs How to pronounce nautilus (audio)
ˈnä-
plural nautiluses or nautili ˈnȯ-tə-ˌlī How to pronounce nautilus (audio)
-ˌlē,
ˈnä-
1
: any of a genus (Nautilus) of cephalopod mollusks of the South Pacific and Indian oceans with a spiral chambered shell that is pearly on the inside

called also chambered nautilus

2

Illustration of nautilus

Illustration of nautilus
  • nautilus 1

Examples of nautilus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The state of cephalopod science has prompted the United States National Institutes of Health to consider whether these animals—which also include squid, cuttlefish, and nautiluses—deserve the same research protections as vertebrates. Emily Mullin, WIRED, 6 Oct. 2023 Some other living fossils include the coelacanth, the horseshoe crab, and the nautilus. Joseph Castro, Discover Magazine, 17 Aug. 2011 As a result, the nautilus can dive far deeper than the argonaut, to a depth of 750 metres. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 18 May 2010 The new species also had several key anatomical traits that mark it as a vampyropod, including the loss of a chambered cephalopod shell used to regulate buoyancy, called a phragmocone, which is seen in existing creatures like nautilus. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 8 Mar. 2022 This spiral fossil comes from the shell of an ammonite, an extinct animal related to a modern nautilus. Discover Magazine, 13 Nov. 2013 After an extraordinary proliferation in earlier seas, totaling some 10,000 species throughout history, only seven species of nautilus made it into the modern era. Cody Cottier, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2021 This cluster of intelligent sea creatures including octopus, squid and shelled nautilus, possess a plethora of arms (in some species, as many as 90). Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 23 June 2022 Along with the armored fish, reef-builders like corals and sponges died en masse, as did trilobites, nautilus-like goniatites and many more creatures. Cody Cottier, Discover Magazine, 23 Jan. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nautilus.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

New Latin, from Latin, paper nautilus, from Greek nautilos, literally, sailor, from naus ship

First Known Use

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of nautilus was in 1601

Dictionary Entries Near nautilus

Cite this Entry

“Nautilus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nautilus. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

nautilus

noun
nau·​ti·​lus ˈnȯt-ᵊl-əs How to pronounce nautilus (audio)
ˈnät-
plural nautiluses or nautili -ᵊl-ˌī How to pronounce nautilus (audio)
-ˌē
1
: any of a genus of mollusks of the South Pacific and Indian oceans that are cephalopods and have a spiral chambered shell that is pearly on the inside

called also chambered nautilus

2

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