tar·​di·​grade | \ ˈtär-də-ˌgrād How to pronounce tardigrade (audio) \

Definition of tardigrade

: any of a phylum (Tardigrada) of microscopic invertebrates with four pairs of stout legs that live usually in water or damp moss

called also water bear

Examples of tardigrade in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The promising thing about the tardigrades, says Spivack, is that they could hypothetically be revived in the future. Daniel Oberhaus, WIRED, "A Crashed Israeli Lunar Lander Spilled Tardigrades on the Moon," 5 Aug. 2019 And the tardigrades are part of a growing trend of companies that are sending things into space that don’t have any scientific value without prior approval. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Why stowaway creatures on the Moon confound international space law," 16 Aug. 2019 But no governing body had a say in the tardigrade matter at all. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Why stowaway creatures on the Moon confound international space law," 16 Aug. 2019 The question now is, are those tardigrades able to survive on the lunar surface? Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "A Crashed Spacecraft Might Have Put Earth’s Most Indestructible Organisms on the Moon," 8 Aug. 2019 That's because tardigrades tend to lumber along like a bear. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Tiny tardigrades crash-landed on the Moon and probably survived," 7 Aug. 2019 The toughest Earth creature could be the water bear, or tardigrades, which are .04 inch long invertebrate animals that live in mosses, soil, or lichens on earth. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "What Would Life on Mars Be Like?," 25 July 2018 Scientists have been testing tardigrades for years, heating them up to 300 degrees and freezing them to –328 degrees Fahrenheit. National Geographic, "New Species of 'Indestructible' Animal Found in Surprising Place," 1 Mar. 2018 Some life forms—like tardigrades and certain species of bacteria and fungus—can survive for extended periods in the vacuum of space. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Could Life on Earth Have Come From Space?," 18 May 2018

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

1860, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tardigrade

ultimately from Latin tardigradus slow-moving, from tardus slow + gradi to step, go — more at grade

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Statistics for tardigrade

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1 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for tardigrade

The first known use of tardigrade was in 1860

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More from Merriam-Webster on tardigrade

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tardigrade

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