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See more synonyms for decapod on Thesaurus.com
  1. any crustacean of the order Decapoda, having five pairs of walking legs, including the crabs, lobsters, crayfish, prawns, and shrimps.
  2. any dibranchiate cephalopod having ten arms, as the cuttlefish or squid.
  3. (initial capital letter) a steam locomotive having a two-wheeled front truck, ten driving wheels, and no rear truck.
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  1. belonging or pertaining to the decapods.
  2. having ten feet or legs.
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Origin of decapod

First recorded in 1825–35, decapod is from the New Latin word Decapoda name of the order. See deca-, -pod
Related formsde·cap·o·dan [duh-kap-uh-dn] /dəˈkæp ə dn/, adjective, nounde·cap·o·dous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for decapod

decennary, decennium, decagon, decade, decapod, decemvir, decemvirate

Examples from the Web for decapod

Historical Examples of decapod

  • A tribe of Decapod Crustacea, of which the Hermit-crab is the type.

    The Ancient Life History of the Earth

    Henry Alleyne Nicholson

  • Decapod, dek′a-pod, n. one of the shellfish which have ten feet or claws, as the crab.

  • We have just mentioned the fact that the head and thorax of a decapod is usually covered by a large shield—the carapace.

    The Sea Shore

    William S. Furneaux

  • M. Latreille is of opinion, That the four wings or their representatives replace the four thoracic legs of the decapod Crustacea.

  • Half a dozen varieties of these are known, one of which inhabits an echinoderm, another a decapod crustacean.

British Dictionary definitions for decapod


  1. any crustacean of the mostly marine order Decapoda, having five pairs of walking limbs: includes the crabs, lobsters, shrimps, prawns, and crayfish
  2. any cephalopod mollusc of the order Decapoda, having a ring of eight short tentacles and two longer ones: includes the squids and cuttlefish
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  1. of, relating to, or belonging to either of these orders
  2. (of any other animal) having ten limbs
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Derived Formsdecapodal (dɪˈkæpədəl), decapodan or decapodous, adjective
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 decapod


1835 as a type of crustacean having 10 legs, from French décapode (1806), from Modern Latin Decapoda (animalia), from Greek dekapoda, neuter plural of dekapous "ten-footed" (see ten + foot (n.)). From 1888 as a type of locomotive.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

decapod in Science


  1. Any of various crustaceans of the order Decapoda, characteristically having ten legs, each joined to a segment of the thorax. Crabs, hermit crabs, lobsters, and shrimp are decapods.
  2. A cephalopod mollusk, such as a squid or cuttlefish, having ten armlike tentacles.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.