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[zoh-ee-uh] /zoʊˈi ə/
noun, plural zoeae
[zoh-ee-ee] /zoʊˈi i/ (Show IPA),
zoeas. Zoology.
any of the free-swimming larva of certain crustaceans, as the crab, having rudimentary legs and a spiny carapace.
Origin of zoea
1820-30; < New Latin, equivalent to Greek zō(ḗ) life + New Latin -ea -ea
Related forms
zoeal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for zoea
Historical Examples
  • It was called a zoea; but you can call it a Crab caterpillar or larva.

    On the Seashore

    R. Cadwallader Smith
  • The maggot is the larva of the fly, and the zoea is the larva of the Crab.

    On the Seashore

    R. Cadwallader Smith
  • With crowds of its brothers and sisters, the zoea kicks about on the surface of the sea.

    On the Seashore

    R. Cadwallader Smith
  • You ask about the skipping of the zoea stage in fresh-water decapods: is this an illustration of acceleration?

  • As an illustration of this metamorphosis, we give figures of the zoea Taurus in two states, viz., Fig.

    The Ocean World: Louis Figuier
British Dictionary definitions for zoea


noun (pl) zoeae, zoaeae (zəʊˈiːiː) zoeas, zoaeas
the free-swimming larva of a crab or related crustacean, which has well-developed abdominal appendages and may bear one or more spines
Word Origin
C20: New Latin, from Greek zōē life
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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