pol·​yp | \ ˈpä-ləp How to pronounce polyp (audio) \

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 How to pronounce polypoid (audio) \ adjective

Examples of polyp in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This jet forces out oxygen that accumulates in the middle of the polyp (thanks to its resident symbionts, photosynthetic algae called zooxanthellae). Scientific American, "Nanomachines, Jellyfish Hugs and Hurricane Dorian From Space: The Week's Best Science GIFs," 30 Aug. 2019 That tradition teaches that all of life originally sprang forth from coral polyps, Kosaki said -- not altogether different from what evolution teaches. Ryan Prior, CNN, "A hurricane in 2018 obliterated one of Hawaii's most beautiful reefs," 28 Aug. 2019 Abnormal polyps can take 10 to 15 years to develop into colon cancer, and some adenomas found with screening may never become cancerous or prove fatal. Reuters, The Mercury News, "Men: Want lower risk of colorectal cancer? Eat yogurt," 3 July 2019 Secondary dysmenorrhea can be caused by uterine fibroids, cysts, or polyps. Sophia Caraballo, Woman's Day, "Having Cramps After Your Period Isn't 'Normal'," 25 June 2019 In the study, yogurt consumption didn’t appear to impact the risk of pre-cancerous polyps in women. Reuters, The Mercury News, "Men: Want lower risk of colorectal cancer? Eat yogurt," 3 July 2019 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. Quanta Magazine, "Cores From Coral Reefs Hold Secrets of the Seas’ Past and Future," 29 May 2018 To go from being a stationary polyp to a floating medusa is almost akin to humans evolving the ability to swim through the air and capture birds with springy, netlike appendages. Quanta Magazine, "Jellyfish Genome Hints That Complexity Isn’t Genetically Complex," 8 Jan. 2019 Most cases start as noncancerous polyps in the lining of the large intestine or the rectum. Consumer Reports, Washington Post, "Exercise and diet can help lower your risk of colon cancer," 22 Jan. 2018

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

6 Sep 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 How to pronounce polyp (audio) \

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 How to pronounce polyp (audio) \

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

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).


concealment of treason or felony

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