Definition of serpula
1 capitalized : a genus (the type of the family Serpulidae) of small marine polychaete worms having brightly colored gills and constructing and living in contorted calcareous tubes that may be closed with horny opercula
2 plural serpulas \-ləz\ or serpulae \-ˌlē, -ˌlī\ : any worm of the genus Serpula or family Serpulidae
Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.
Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:
- More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
- Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
- Advanced search features
- Ad free!
Origin and Etymology of serpula
New Latin, from Latin, little snake, from serpere to creep
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up serpula? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).