acanthocephalan

[ uh-kan-thuh-sef-uh-luh n ]
/ əˌkæn θəˈsɛf ə lən /

noun

any parasitic worm of the phylum or class Acanthocephala, having a proboscis covered with recurved hooks.

adjective

belonging or pertaining to the Acanthocephala.

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Origin of acanthocephalan

1905–10; < New Latin Acanthocephal(a), neuter plural of acanthocephalus (see acantho-, -cephalous) + -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for acanthocephalan

acanthocephalan
/ (əˌkænθəʊˈsɛfələn) /

noun

any of the parasitic wormlike invertebrates of the phylum Acanthocephala, the adults of which have a spiny proboscis and live in the intestines of vertebrates

adjective

of, relating to, or belonging to the Acanthocephala
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

Scientific definitions for acanthocephalan

acanthocephalan
[ ə-kăn′thə-sĕfə-lən ]

Any of various, mostly small worms of the phylum Acanthocephala that live parasitically in arthropods as juveniles and in the intestines of vertebrates (especially fish) as adults. Acanthocephalans have a cylindrical, retractile proboscis that has rows of hooked spines and is used for attachment to a host. Also called spiny-headed worm
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.