paper nautilus


: a pelagic cephalopod (genus Argonauta) of which the female has a delicate papery shell

Illustration of paper nautilus

Illustration of paper nautilus

Examples of paper nautilus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The winning and commended images of the Ocean Photographer of the Year 2023 competition were recently announced, with the marine biologist and amateur photographer Jialing Cai named the overall winner for her image of a paper nautilus floating on a piece of ocean debris. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, 20 Sep. 2023 As a buoyancy aid, the argonaut’s paper nautilus is superficially similar to the much harder shell of its namesake, the chambered nautiluses (right). Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 18 May 2010 Scientists have long wondered about the purpose of the argonaut’s paper nautilus. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 18 May 2010 The argonaut octopuses secrete a thin, white, brittle shell called the paper nautilus. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 23 Dec. 2010

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

First Known Use

circa 1792, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of paper nautilus was circa 1792

Dictionary Entries Near paper nautilus

Cite this Entry

“Paper nautilus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

paper nautilus

: a mollusk with eight arms that is related to the octopuses and of which the female has a thin fragile shell

called also argonaut

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