- a large marine arthropod, Limulus polyphemus, of shallow coastal waters of eastern North America and eastern Asia, having both compound and simple eyes, book gills, a stiff tail, and a brown carapace curved like a horseshoe: a living fossil related to the woodlouse.
Origin of horseshoe crab
First recorded in 1765–75
Also called king crab.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for horseshoe crab
But the king- or horseshoe-crab has still no true jaws, but uses the upper joints of its legs for chewing.The Whence and the Whither of Man
John Mason Tyler
- any marine chelicerate arthropod of the genus Limulus, of North America and Asia, having a rounded heavily armoured body with a long pointed tail: class MerostomataAlso called: king crab
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