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[nawt-l-uh s, not-] /ˈnɔt l əs, ˈnɒt-/
noun, plural nautiluses, nautili
[nawt-l-ahy, not-] /ˈnɔt lˌaɪ, ˈnɒt-/ (Show IPA),
for 1, 2.
Also called chambered nautilus, pearly nautilus. any cephalopod of the genus Nautilus, having a spiral, chambered shell with pearly septa.
(initial capital letter) the first nuclear-powered submarine launched by the U.S. Navy.
Origin of nautilus
1595-1605; < Latin < Greek nautílos paper nautilus, literally, sailor, derivative of naûs ship; the webbed dorsal arms of the paper nautilus were thought to have been used as sails Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for nautilus
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The crew consisted of ten seamen from the nautilus and the Constitution, all volunteers.

    The Land We Live In

    Henry Mann
  • The "nautilus," it will be remembered, was captured early in the war.

  • The nautilus is not ours, and we have not the right to dispose of it.

    The Secret of the Island W.H.G. Kingston (translation from Jules Verne)
  • There is only one, and that is to get these two schooners safe alongside of the nautilus.

    The Black Bar George Manville Fenn
  • Great was my delight, on getting it on board, to find that a nautilus had been caught.

    In the Eastern Seas W.H.G. Kingston
  • My uncle said he was rather doubtful that, when alive, the nautilus did float on the water.

    In the Eastern Seas W.H.G. Kingston
  • The typical form was closely coiled like a nautilus (Fig. 325).

    The Elements of Geology William Harmon Norton
  • For answer, every man and boy on the nautilus advanced two steps.

    Twelve Naval Captains Molly Elliot Seawell
  • The septa are simple in some species, as in the nautilus, fig. 13.

    A Conchological Manual George Brettingham Sowerby
British Dictionary definitions for nautilus


noun (pl) -luses, -li (-ˌlaɪ)
any cephalopod mollusc of the genus Nautilus, esp the pearly nautilus
short for paper nautilus
Word Origin
C17: via Latin from Greek nautilos sailor, from naus ship
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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Word Origin and History for nautilus

marine cephalopod, c.1600, from Latin nautilus, in Pliny a kind of marine snail (including also squid, cuttlefish, polyps, etc.), from Greek nautilos "paper nautilus," literally "sailor," from nautes "sailor," from naus "ship" (see naval). The cephalopod formerly was thought to use its webbed arms as sails.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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