noun, plural cer·car·i·ae [ser-kair-ee-ee] /sərˈkɛər iˌi/. Zoology.

the disk-shaped larva of flukes of the class Trematoda, having a taillike appendage.

Origin of cercaria

1830–40; < New Latin, equivalent to cerc- (< Greek kérkos tail) + -āria -aria
Related formscer·car·i·al, adjectivecer·car·i·an, adjective, nounpseu·do·cer·car·i·a, noun, plural pseu·do·cer·car·i·ae.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cercaria

Historical Examples of cercaria

  • A migration of the cercaria is indispensable to its perfection.


    T. Spencer Cobbold

  • The infusoriform larva of the Dicyemid, and the Cercaria of the Trematodes, are such forms.

  • This organised nurse, which is about a line in length, is the Cercaria cystophora of Wagener.


    T. Spencer Cobbold

  • Dr Guido Wagener figures similar structures as occurring in Cercaria macrocerca.


    T. Spencer Cobbold

  • By drinking the water which contains the cercaria of this species, they grow infested by this singular lodger.

British Dictionary definitions for cercaria


noun plural -iae (-ɪˌiː)

one of the larval forms of trematode worms. It has a short forked tail and resembles an immature adult
Derived Formscercarial, adjectivecercarian, adjective, noun

Word Origin for cercaria

C19: New Latin, literally: tailed creature, from Greek kerkos tail
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

cercaria in Medicine



n. pl. cer•car•i•as

The parasitic larva of a trematode worm, having a tail that disappears in the adult stage.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.