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 chelicerate



of, relating to, or belonging to the Chelicerata, a subphylum of arthropods, including arachnids and the horseshoe crab, in which the first pair of limbs are modified as chelicerae


any arthropod belonging to the Chelicerata


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

chelicerate in Science


[kə-lĭsər-āt′, -ĭt]

Any of various, mostly terrestrial arthropods of the subphylum Chelicerata, having a body divided into two main parts: a cephalothorax and an abdomen. Chelicerates have specialized feeding appendages (chelicerae) and lack antennae. Chelicerates include the arachnids and merostomes (horseshoe crabs) and are closely related to the extinct trilobites.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.