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See more synonyms for gastropod on Thesaurus.com
  1. any mollusk of the class Gastropoda, comprising the snails, whelks, slugs, etc.
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  1. Also gas·trop·o·dous [ga-strop-uh-duh s] /gæˈstrɒp ə dəs/. belonging or pertaining to the gastropods.
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Origin of gastropod

First recorded in 1820–30, gastropod is from the New Latin word Gast(e)ropoda a class of mollusks. See gastro-, -pod
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gastropod

Historical Examples

  • One of the prettiest of the gastropod shells, is that of the cowry, in some parts of Africa used as money.

    The Animal World, A Book of Natural History

    Theodore Wood

  • The problem of the causes of the torsion of the Gastropod body has been much discussed.

British Dictionary definitions for gastropod



  1. any mollusc of the class Gastropoda, typically having a flattened muscular foot for locomotion and a head that bears stalked eyes. The class includes the snails, whelks, limpets, and slugs
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  1. of, relating to, or belonging to the Gastropoda
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Derived Formsgastropodan (ɡæsˈtrɒpədən), adjective, noungastropodous, 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 gastropod


1826, gasteropod (modern spelling by 1854), from Modern Latin Gasteropoda, name of a class of mollusks, from Greek gaster (genitive gastros) "stomach" (see gastric) + pous (genitive podos) "foot" (see foot (n.)). From the ventral position of the mollusk's "foot."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

gastropod in Science


  1. Any of various carnivorous or herbivorous mollusks of the class Gastropoda, having a head with eyes and feelers and a muscular foot on the underside of its body with which it moves. Most gastropods are aquatic, but some have adapted to life on land. Gastropods include snails, which have a coiled shell, and slugs, which have a greatly reduced shell or none at all.
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Word History: Snails, conchs, whelks, and many other similar animals with shells are all called gastropods by scientists. The word gastropod comes from Greek and means “stomach foot,” a name that owes its existence to the unusual anatomy of snails. Snails have a broad flat muscular “foot” used for support and for forward movement. This foot runs along the underside of the animal-essentially along its belly. The Greek elements gastro-, “stomach,” and -pod, “foot,” are found in many other scientific names, such as gastritis (an inflammation of the stomach) and sauropod (“lizard foot,” a type of dinosaur).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.