or mil·le·pede

  1. any terrestrial arthropod of the class Diplopoda, having a cylindrical body composed of 20 to more than 100 segments, each with two pairs of legs.

Origin of millipede

1595–1605; < Latin mīlipeda (Pliny), equivalent to mīli- milli- + -peda, derivative of pēs, stem ped- foot Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for millipede

Historical Examples of millipede

  • The millipede cautiously reared its head from the sand and felt timidly about.

    Jungle Peace

    William Beebe

  • Hypopi have been found in the gill chambers of a mollusk and in the gonads of a millipede (Baker and Wharton, 1952).

  • The last pair of legs in the centipede and millipede are never used for walking, and are generally much longer than the rest.

  • If there is pathos in this, there is bathos in his apostrophe to the millipede, beginning "Poor sowbug!"

    Medical Essays

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

British Dictionary definitions for millipede


millepede milleped

  1. any terrestrial herbivorous arthropod of the class Diplopoda, having a cylindrical body made up of many segments, each of which bears two pairs of walking legsSee also myriapod

Word Origin for millipede

C17: from Latin, from mille thousand + pēs foot
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 millipede

also millepede, c.1600, from Latin millepeda "wood louse," a type of crawling insect, from mille "thousand" (see million) + pes (genitive pedis) "foot" (see foot (n.)). Probably a loan-translation of Greek chiliopous.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

millipede in Science


  1. Any of various wormlike arthropods of the class Diplopoda, having a long body composed of many narrow segments, most of which have two pairs of legs. Millipedes feed on plants and, unlike centipedes, do not have venomous pincers. Compare centipede.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.