1. a calcified or membranous septum produced by certain land snails during hibernation and functioning to cover the shell opening and prevent desiccation.
  2. Botany. a membrane enclosing the capsule in certain mosses.

Origin of epiphragm

1820–30; < Greek epíphragma covering, lid, equivalent to epi- epi- + phrágma fence
Related formsep·i·phrag·mal [ep-uh-frag-muh l] /ˌɛp əˈfræg məl/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for epiphragm


  1. a disc of calcium phosphate and mucilage secreted by snails over the aperture of their shells before hibernation

Word Origin for epiphragm

C19: via New Latin from Greek epiphragma a lid, from epiphrassein, from epi- + phrassein to place in an enclosure
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