- a saucer-shaped or dome-shaped, free-swimming jellyfish or hydra.
Origin of medusa
Examples from the Web for medusae
He is now in Madeira, where he is going to work chiefly on the Medusae.More Letters of Charles Darwin Volume II
I have heard indirectly of your splendid success with nerves of medusae.More Letters of Charles Darwin
The number of medusae in the olive-green water was found to be immense.The Ocean and its Wonders
It has been said that the movement of neurons has been observed in certain of the Medusae.Psychotherapy
James J. Walsh
Dr Cuff had a powerful microscope, through which he examined one of the stomachs of the medusae.My First Voyage to Southern Seas
- Greek myth a mortal woman who was transformed by Athena into one of the three Gorgons. Her appearance was so hideous that those who looked directly at her were turned to stone. Perseus eventually slew herSee also Pegasus 1
Word Origin and History for medusae
"jellyfish," 1758, as genus name, from the name of one of the three Gorgons with snakes for hair, whose glance turned to stone him who looked upon it (attested in English from late 14c.). Her name is from Greek Medousa, literally "guardian," fem. present participle of the verb medein "to protect, rule over" (see Medea). The zoological name was chosen by Linnæus, suggested by the creature's long tentacles. Related: Medusoid.
- A cnidarian in its free-swimming stage. Medusas are bell-shaped, with tentacles hanging down around a central mouth. Jellyfish are medusas, while corals and sea anemones lack a medusa stage and exist only as polyps. Compare polyp.