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See more synonyms for chela on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural che·lae [kee-lee] /ˈki li/.
  1. the pincerlike organ or claw terminating certain limbs of crustaceans and arachnids.
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Origin of chela1

1640–50; < New Latin < Greek chēlḗ claw


  1. (in India) a disciple of a religious teacher.
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Origin of chela2

1825–35; < Hindi celā; compare Pali cellaka monk, Prakrit cilla boy, student
Related formsche·la·ship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for chelae

Historical Examples

  • The first pair end in nippers or chelae and are usually much more massive than the others which are used in walking or swimming.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 7, Slice 6


British Dictionary definitions for chelae


noun plural lae (-liː)
  1. a large pincer-like claw of such arthropods as the crab and scorpion
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Derived Formscheliferous (kɪˈlɪfərəs), adjective

Word Origin

C17: New Latin, from Greek khēlē claw


  1. Hinduism a disciple of a religious teacher
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Derived Formschelaship, noun

Word Origin

C19: from Hindi celā, from Sanskrit ceta servant, slave
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