[ten-uh-fawr, -fohr, tee-nuh-]

Origin of ctenophore

From the New Latin word ctenophorus, dating back to 1880–85. See cteno-, -phore
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for ctenophore


  1. any marine invertebrate of the phylum Ctenophora, including the sea gooseberry and Venus's-girdle, whose body bears eight rows of fused cilia, for locomotionAlso called: comb jelly
Derived Formsctenophoran (tɪˈnɒfərən), adjective, noun

Word Origin for ctenophore

C19: from New Latin ctenophorus, from Greek kteno-, kteis comb + -phore
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

ctenophore in Science


  1. Any of various, mostly small marine invertebrates of the phylum Ctenophora, having transparent, gelatinous bodies bearing eight rows of comblike cilia. Ctenophores have a branched digestive tract that also has circulatory function. Most ctenophores feed on plankton and are bioluminescent, producing brilliant displays of blue or green light at night. Ctenophores are related to cnidarians but are more highly evolved because their bodies have a true mesoderm. Also called comb jelly
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.