zo·​an·​thar·​i·​an ˌzō-ən-ˈther-ē-ən How to pronounce zoantharian (audio)
: any of a subclass (Hexacorallia synonym Zoantharia) of anthozoans having tentacles or septa or both that are typically six or a multiple of six in number and including most of the recent corals and sea anemones
zoantharian adjective

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web But S. exilis, discovered off the coast of a southern Japanese island and described in ZooKeys in July, is one of only four solitary-living zoantharians. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 20 Dec. 2016

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'zoantharian.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin Zoantharia, order name, Latinization of French zoanthaires (from New Latin Zoanthus, a genus—from zo- zo- + Greek ánthos "flower"— + French -aires, plural of -aire -ary entry 1) + -an entry 1 — more at antho-

Note: French zoanthaires was apparently introduced by the zoologist Henri-Marie Ducrotay de Blainville (1777-1850) in Manuel d'actinologie (Paris, 1834), p. 308. The genus name Zoanthus is used, if not described, by Georges cuvier in Leçons d'anatomie comparée, tome 1 (Paris, An X [1801-02]), neuvième tableau ("Classification des zoophytes").

First Known Use

1887, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of zoantharian was in 1887

Dictionary Entries Near zoantharian

Cite this Entry

“Zoantharian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zoantharian. Accessed 4 Jun. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!