any mollusk of the class Cephalopoda, having tentacles attached to the head, including the cuttlefish, squid, and octopus.


Also ceph·a·lo·pod·ic, ceph·a·lop·o·dous [sef-uh-lop-uh-duh s] /ˌsɛf əˈlɒp ə dəs/. belonging or pertaining to the Cephalopoda.

Origin of cephalopod

1820–30; < New Latin Cephalopoda; see cephalo-, -pod
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cephalopod

Historical Examples of cephalopod

  • The organs, too, of the Cephalopod are differently constructed.

    Form and Function

    E. S. (Edward Stuart) Russell

  • The name "cephalopod," meaning "feet around the head," is descriptive in part of their anatomy.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide

    Augusta Foote Arnold

  • Again, take the case of the introduction of a giant Cephalopod or fish amongst a population of Molluscs and Crustacea.

  • A rival to the Ammonite appeared in the Triassic seas, a formidable forerunner of the cuttle-fish type of Cephalopod.

  • It has been regarded as a plant, and as a cephalopod shell; but I believe it was a coral allied to Cystiphyllum.

British Dictionary definitions for cephalopod



any marine mollusc of the class Cephalopoda, characterized by well-developed head and eyes and a ring of sucker-bearing tentacles. The group also includes the octopuses, squids, cuttlefish, and pearly nautilus

adjective Also: cephalopodic, cephalopodous (ˌsɛfəˈlɒpədəs)

of, relating to, or belonging to the Cephalopoda
Derived Formscephalopodan, adjective, noun
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

Word Origin and History for cephalopod

1825, from French cephalopode, from Modern Latin Cephalopoda (the class name), from Greek kephale "head" (see cephalo-) + pod-, stem of pous "foot" (see foot (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for cephalopod



Any of various marine mollusks of the class Cephalopoda, having long tentacles around the mouth, a large head, a pair of large eyes, and a sharp beak. Cephalopods have the most highly developed nervous system of all invertebrates. Many cephalopods squirt a cloud of dark inky liquid to confuse predators. Cephalopods include the octopus, squid, cuttlefish, and nautilus, and the extinct ammonites, belemnites, and other nautiloids.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.