pol·​yp | \ ˈpä-ləp \

Definition of polyp

1 : the sessile form of cnidarian (such as a coral or sea anemone) typically having a hollow cylindrical body closed and attached at one end and opening at the other by a central mouth surrounded by tentacles armed with nematocysts
2 : a growth projecting from a mucous membrane (as of the colon or vocal cords)

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Other Words from polyp

polypoid \ ˈpä-​lə-​ˌpȯid \ adjective

Examples of polyp in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In 2005, the Moorea reefs faced hordes of crown-of-thorn sea stars, which eat coral polyps. National Geographic, "These 38 Coral Reefs Are Thriving, Despite Threats," 18 June 2018 Only the surface of the Porites formation contains live polyps, so after drilling, the coral formation should continue to grow in the shallows, unharmed and without interruption. Elizabeth Svoboda, Scientific American, "Cores from Coral Reefs Hold Secrets of the Seas’ Past and Future," 6 June 2018 Reasons include a hypothyroid (see above) and possibly something funky lingering in your uterus like fibroids in the lining, polyps, or endometriosis. Kenny Thapoung, Marie Claire, "3 Signs There's Something Wrong with Your Period," 15 Oct. 2015 Possible culprits could include, but are not limited to, breakthrough bleeding on the pill, infections, polyps, ectopic pregnancy, and pregnancy, Dr. Dweck says. Elizabeth Durand Streisand, Good Housekeeping, "What the Color of Your Vaginal Discharge Means, According to Gynos," 27 Nov. 2018 Endometrial Polyps Endometrial polyps are finger-like growths that come out of the lining of the uterus (a.k.a. Jennifer Gerson, Marie Claire, "Why Can't I Get Pregnant?," 1 Oct. 2018 But don't just shrug off all the weirdness: Fibroids, polyps, and underlying health problems like a misbehaving thyroid or even precancers and cancers can set things awry. Sari Harrar, Good Housekeeping, "4 Perimenopause Period Symptoms That Could Be Serious," 3 July 2018 For 30 long years Hank’s wife and partner Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) has been lost in the quantum realm, which resembles a polyp-ridden aquarium; daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) yearns for her, as does Hank. Michael Phillips, kansascity, "‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’: With Paul Rudd, here’s one infestation we can get behind," 5 July 2018 According to the American Cancer Society, beginning at age 50, men and women should be screened for tests that find polyps and cancer. Christina Boufis, Woman's Day, "You're 50: Do You Know How Your Colon Is?," 20 July 2011

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

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First Known Use of polyp

1742, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for polyp

French polype octopus, nasal polyp, from Old French polipe, from Latin polypus, from Greek polypous, from poly- + pous foot — more at foot

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Statistics for polyp

Last Updated

25 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for polyp

The first known use of polyp was in 1742

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English Language Learners Definition of polyp

medical : a small lump that grows inside your body (such as inside your colon or on your vocal cords)
: a small sea animal (such as a coral) that has a body shaped like a tube


pol·​yp | \ ˈpä-ləp \

Kids Definition of polyp

: a small sea animal (as a coral) having a tubelike body closed and attached to something (as a rock) at one end and opening at the other with a mouth surrounded by tentacles


pol·​yp | \ ˈpäl-əp \

Medical Definition of polyp

: a projecting mass of swollen and hypertrophied or tumorous membrane (as in the nasal cavity or the intestine)

called also polypus

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More from Merriam-Webster on polyp

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with polyp

Britannica English: Translation of polyp for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about polyp

Comments on polyp

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


to deny responsibility for

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