ceph·​a·​lo·​pod ˈse-fə-lə-ˌpäd How to pronounce cephalopod (audio)
: any of a class (Cephalopoda) of marine mollusks including the squids, cuttlefishes, and octopuses that move by expelling water from a tubular siphon under the head and that have a group of muscular usually sucker-bearing arms around the front of the head, highly developed eyes, and usually a sac containing ink which is ejected for defense or concealment
cephalopod adjective

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Though further fossil evidence could certainly reveal more, for now, one thing seems absolutely clear: V. rhodanica was a cephalopod to avoid. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 23 June 2022 Cuttlefish are full of personality, as behavioral ecologist Alexandra Schnell found out while researching the cephalopod's potential to display self-control. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Mar. 2021 At first glance, this cephalopod, with its irregular, flowy movements and amorphous form, seems about as far from human as imaginable. Cody Cottier, Discover Magazine, 26 Nov. 2020 American research institutions are increasingly opting to subject their cephalopod studies to the same approval process as experiments on mice or other vertebrates. Elizabeth Preston, New York Times, 27 Aug. 2022 But electrode recordings showed that for several minutes after becoming unresponsive, the cephalopod could still feel experimenters touching its body. Elizabeth Preston, New York Times, 27 Aug. 2022 If not, will Spain continue to be so adoring toward the cephalopod ? Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 9 July 2010 Both sides of the cephalopod's personality are on display in this video from the BBC. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 5 Jan. 2013 But certain topics have remained unexplored since the cephalopod now known as Sir Ringo Woodward made his Detroit debut in late August. Detroit Free Press, 10 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cephalopod.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


ultimately from cephal- + Greek pod-, pous foot — more at foot

First Known Use

1826, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cephalopod was in 1826

Dictionary Entries Near cephalopod

Cite this Entry

“Cephalopod.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cephalopod. Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


ceph·​a·​lo·​pod ˈsef-ə-lə-ˌpäd How to pronounce cephalopod (audio)
: any of a class of mollusks that include the squids, cuttlefishes, and octopuses and have a group of muscular sucker-bearing arms, highly developed eyes, and usually a bag of inky fluid which can be released for defense

More from Merriam-Webster on cephalopod

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