poly·​chaete | \ ˈpä-lē-ˌkēt How to pronounce polychaete (audio) \

Definition of polychaete

: any of a class (Polychaeta) of chiefly marine annelid worms (such as clam worms) usually with paired segmental appendages, separate sexes, and a free-swimming trochophore larva

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from polychaete

polychaete adjective

Examples of polychaete in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For at least 30 million years, bone-eating worms have been making their homes in the bodies of decomposing whales on the seabottom, but the rotting cetacean carcasses are not just food sources for the polychaetes. Brian Switek, WIRED, "The strange sex lives of bone-eating whaleworms," 23 Apr. 2010

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

First Known Use of polychaete

1891, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for polychaete

ultimately from Greek polychaitēs having much hair, from poly- + chaitē long hair

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about polychaete

Time Traveler for polychaete

Time Traveler

The first known use of polychaete was in 1891

See more words from the same year

Statistics for polychaete

Cite this Entry

“Polychaete.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polychaete. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on polychaete

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about polychaete

Comments on polychaete

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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