• synonyms


  1. any unsegmented worm of the phylum Nematoda, having an elongated, cylindrical body; a roundworm.
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  1. pertaining to the Nematoda.
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Origin of nematode

First recorded in 1860–65; nemat- + -ode1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nematode

Historical Examples of nematode

  • A recharacterization of the nematode genus Blatticola Schwenk, 1926.

    The Biotic Associations of Cockroaches

    Louis M. Roth

  • On a new species of nematode, Gongylonema orientale, found in Formosa.

  • The Trichina is a nematode worm, and not an insect, as it was at first called.

  • Heterodera Schachtii is the name given to a nematode which Mons.

  • I have also two species of nematode from Macropus giganteus.


    T. Spencer Cobbold

British Dictionary definitions for nematode


  1. any unsegmented worm of the phylum (or class) Nematoda, having a tough outer cuticle. The group includes free-living forms and disease-causing parasites, such as the hookworm and filariaAlso called: nematode worm, roundworm
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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 nematode


1865, from Modern Latin Nematoda, the class or phylum name.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

nematode in Medicine


  1. A parasitic worm of the class Nematoda.roundworm
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

nematode in Science


  1. Any of several slender, cylindrical worms of the group Nematoda, which some scientists consider to be a class of the aschelminths and others to be a separate phylum. Most nematodes are tiny and live in enormous numbers in water, soil, plants, and animals. They have a simple structure, with a long hollow gut separated from the body wall by a fluid-filled space. Several nematodes, such as pinworm, roundworm, filaria, and hookworm, are parasites on animals and humans and cause disease. One species, Caenorhabditis elegans (usually called C. elegans), was one of the first animals to have its entire genome sequenced and is important in biological research as a model organism.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.