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[roh-tuh-fer] /ˈroʊ tə fər/
any microscopic animal of the phylum (or class) Rotifera, found in fresh and salt waters, having one or more rings of cilia on the anterior end.
Also called wheel animalcule.
Origin of rotifer
From New Latin, dating back to 1785-95; See origin at Rotifera
Related forms
[roh-tif-er-uh l] /roʊˈtɪf ər əl/ (Show IPA),
rotiferous, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for rotifer


any minute aquatic multicellular invertebrate of the phylum Rotifera, having a ciliated wheel-like organ used in feeding and locomotion: common constituents of freshwater plankton Also called wheel animalcule
Derived Forms
rotiferal (rəʊˈtɪfərəl), rotiferous, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from New Latin Rotifera, from Latin rota wheel + ferre to bear
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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rotifer in Science
Any of various tiny, multicellular aquatic animals of the phylum Rotifera, having a wheel-like ring of cilia at their front ends. The cilia trap small organisms for food. Rotifers are grouped by some scientists together with nematodes and some other invertebrates as aschelminths.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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