• synonyms


  1. any of numerous tiny marine or freshwater crustaceans of the order (or subclass) Copepoda, lacking compound eyes or a carapace and usually having six pairs of limbs on the thorax, some abundant in plankton and others parasitic on fish.
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Origin of copepod

1830–40; < New Latin Copepoda name of the order < Greek kṓpē a handle, oar + -poda -poda
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for copepod

Historical Examples of copepod

  • It still must pass through its life cycle, but its intermediate host need not be one species of snail, fish, or copepod.

    The Lani People

    J. F. Bone

  • From the protopodites of both the latter spring strong hooks like those of the Copepod and Phyllopod Nauplii.

British Dictionary definitions for copepod


  1. any minute free-living or parasitic crustacean of the subclass Copepoda of marine and fresh waters: an important constituent of plankton
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  1. of, relating to, or belonging to the Copepoda
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Word Origin for copepod

C19: from New Latin Copepoda, from Greek kōpē oar + pous foot
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

copepod in Medicine


  1. Any of numerous minute marine and freshwater crustaceans of the subclass Copepoda, having an elongated body and a forked tail.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

copepod in Science


  1. Any of various very small crustaceans of the subclass Copepoda, having an elongated body and a forked tail. Unlike most crustaceans, copepods lack a carapace over the back and do not have compound eyes. They are abundant in both salt and fresh water, and are an important food source for many water animals. Copepods include the water fleas.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.