• synonyms


[kruh-stey-shuh n]
See more synonyms for crustacean on Thesaurus.com
  1. any chiefly aquatic arthropod of the class Crustacea, typically having the body covered with a hard shell or crust, including the lobsters, shrimps, crabs, barnacles, and wood lice.
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  1. belonging or pertaining to the crustaceans.
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Origin of crustacean

1825–35; < New Latin Crustace(a) (neuter plural) hard-shelled ones (see crust, -acea) + -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for crustacean

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • “This is a magnificent specimen of the crustacean period,” he declared.


    Caroline Lockhart

  • This crustacean tube a thousand feet long solved the matter.

    James Watt

    Andrew Carnegie

  • Its punishment was simply that it was a Sacculina—that it was a Sacculina when it might have been a Crustacean.

  • Nature has willed that the Crustacean should not long remain an invalid.

    The Ocean World:

    Louis Figuier

  • Crabs and lobsters may be regarded as the chiefs or lords of the Crustacean tribes.

    The Ocean World:

    Louis Figuier

British Dictionary definitions for crustacean


  1. any arthropod of the mainly aquatic class Crustacea, typically having a carapace hardened with lime and including the lobsters, crabs, shrimps, woodlice, barnacles, copepods, and water fleas
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adjective Also: crustaceous
  1. of, relating to, or belonging to the Crustacea
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Word Origin

C19: from New Latin crūstāceus hard-shelled, from Latin crūsta shell, crust
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 crustacean


1835, from Crustacea the class name. As an adjective, 1858 (earlier was crustaceous, 1640s).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

crustacean in Science


  1. Any of various widespread arthropods of the class Crustacea that live mostly in water and have a hard shell, a segmented body, and jointed appendages. Crustaceans include crabs, lobsters, shrimp, barnacles, and copepods.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

crustacean in Culture



A class of arthropods with shells.

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Crabs, lobsters, shrimp, and crayfish are crustaceans.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.