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[ser-kair-ee-uh] /sərˈkɛər i ə/
noun, plural cercariae
[ser-kair-ee-ee] /sərˈkɛər iˌi/ (Show IPA).
the disk-shaped larva of flukes of the class Trematoda, having a taillike appendage.
Origin of cercaria
1830-40; < New Latin, equivalent to cerc- (< Greek kérkos tail) + -āria -aria
Related forms
cercarial, adjective
cercarian, adjective, noun
pseudocercaria, noun, plural pseudocercariae. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cercaria
Historical Examples
  • A migration of the cercaria is indispensable to its perfection.

    Parasites T. Spencer Cobbold
  • The infusoriform larva of the Dicyemid, and the cercaria of the Trematodes, are such forms.

  • This organised nurse, which is about a line in length, is the cercaria cystophora of Wagener.

    Parasites T. Spencer Cobbold
  • Dr Guido Wagener figures similar structures as occurring in cercaria macrocerca.

    Parasites T. Spencer Cobbold
  • By drinking the water which contains the cercaria of this species, they grow infested by this singular lodger.

    Animal Parasites and Messmates P. J. Van Beneden
  • The cercaria setifera of J. Mller has been found free and attached to the lower surface of some medus.

    Animal Parasites and Messmates P. J. Van Beneden
  • It is always of a deep colour, and is doubtless introduced in the state of cercaria, when the animal is drinking.

    Animal Parasites and Messmates P. J. Van Beneden
  • There are some grounds for comparing the scolex to the cercaria of Trematodes, cf. Archigetes.

British Dictionary definitions for cercaria


noun (pl) -iae (-ɪˌiː)
one of the larval forms of trematode worms. It has a short forked tail and resembles an immature adult
Derived Forms
cercarial, adjective
cercarian, adjective, noun
Word Origin
C19: New Latin, literally: tailed creature, from Greek kerkos tail
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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cercaria in Medicine

cercaria cer·car·i·a (sər-kâr'ē-ə)
n. pl. cer·car·i·as or cer·car·i·ae (-ē-ē')
The parasitic larva of a trematode worm, having a tail that disappears in the adult stage.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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