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[si-len-tuh-reyt, -ter-it]
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  1. any invertebrate animal of the phylum Coelenterata, including the hydras, jellyfishes, sea anemones, and corals, characterized by a single internal cavity serving for digestion, excretion, and other functions and having tentacles on the oral end.Compare cnidarian.
  1. belonging or pertaining to the Coelenterata.

Origin of coelenterate

First recorded in 1870–75; see origin at Coelenterata
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for coelenterate


  1. any invertebrate of the phylum Cnidaria (formerly Coelenterata), having a saclike body with a single opening (mouth), which occurs in polyp and medusa forms. Coelenterates include the hydra, jellyfishes, sea anemones, and corals
  1. (loosely) any invertebrate of the phyla Cnidaria or Ctenophora
  2. of or relating to coelenterates
Derived Formscoelenteric (ˌsiːlɛnˈtɛrɪk), adjective

Word Origin

C19: from New Latin Coelenterata, hollow-intestined (creatures); see coel-, enteron
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

coelenterate in Science


  1. A marine invertebrate of the obsolete phylum Coelenterata, which included the cnidarians
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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