noun, plural che·lic·er·ae [kuh-lis-uh-ree] /kəˈlɪs əˌri/.

one member of the first pair of usually pincerlike appendages of spiders and other arachnids.

Compare pedipalp.

Origin of chelicera

1825–35; < New Latin, equivalent to cheli- cheli- + Greek kér(as) horn + Latin -a feminine noun ending
Related formsche·lic·er·al, adjectiveche·lic·er·ate [kuh-lis-uh-reyt, -er-it] /kəˈlɪs əˌreɪt, -ər ɪt/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for chelicerae


noun plural -erae (-əˌriː)

one of a pair of appendages on the head of spiders and other arachnids: often modified as food-catching claws
Derived Formscheliceral, adjective

Word Origin for chelicera

C19: from New Latin, from French chélicère, from chél- see chela 1 + -cère from Greek keras horn
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 chelicerae

1831, plural of Modern Latin chelicera, from Greek khele "claw, talon, cloven hoof," from PIE *ghel-wo-, from root *ghel-una- "jaw," + keras "horn" (see kerato-). Earlier chelicer (1835), from French chélicère.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper