siphonophore

noun
si·​pho·​no·​phore | \ sī-ˈfä-nə-ˌfȯr , ˈsī-fə-nə-\

Definition of siphonophore

: any of an order (Siphonophora) of colonial, free-swimming or floating, marine hydrozoans (such as the Portuguese man-of-war) that are mostly delicate, transparent, and colored and have zooids possessing specialized functions (such as feeding or locomotion) … startling brilliance is often seen among siphonophores, gelatinous colonial animals whose different members work in unison.— William J. Broad Most siphonophores are small, transparent creatures of the open sea. They float at the surface among the plankton or swim actively, usually at shallow depths. As carnivores, they capture small planktonic animals in their net of tentacles.— Stephen Jay Gould

Examples of siphonophore in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Officials said anyone who spots the creature – which is a siphonophore, not a jellyfish, according to the publication – should report the sighting. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "South Carolina beach sees rise in Man O'War stings, sightings, officials say," 10 Aug. 2018 According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Portuguese Man o' War - a species known as a siphonophore and named for its resemblance to an 18th-century Portuguese warship at full sail - often float in large groups. Leada Gore, AL.com, "Portuguese Man o' War in Orange Beach, Gulf Shores prompts purple flag," 27 Feb. 2018 But the sting of the Portuguese man o’war—which is technically a siphonophore and not a jellyfish—is particularly painful. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Urine Luck: Vinegar Is the Best Treatment for a Man O’ War Sting," 4 May 2017 But the sting of the Portuguese man o’war—which is technically a siphonophore and not a jellyfish—is particularly painful. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Urine Luck: Vinegar Is the Best Treatment for a Man O’ War Sting," 4 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'siphonophore.' 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 siphonophore

circa 1842, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for siphonophore

ultimately from Greek siphōn + pherein to carry — more at bear

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Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for siphonophore

The first known use of siphonophore was circa 1842

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More Definitions for siphonophore

siphonophore

noun
si·​pho·​no·​phore | \ sī-ˈfän-ə-ˌfō(ə)r , ˈsī-fə-nə- , -ˌfȯ(ə)r\

Medical Definition of siphonophore

: any of an order (Siphonophora) of compound free-swimming or floating pelagic hydrozoans — see portuguese man-of-war

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