[ ol-i-goh-keet ]
/ ˈɒl ɪ goʊˌkit /


any of various annelids of the family Oligochaeta, including earthworms and certain small, freshwater species, having locomotory setae sunk directly in the body wall.

Origin of oligochaete

1875–80; < New Latin Oligochaeta; see oligo-, chaeta

Related forms

ol·i·go·chae·tous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for oligochaete


/ (ˈɒlɪɡəʊˌkiːt) /


any freshwater or terrestrial annelid worm of the class Oligochaeta, having bristles (chaetae) borne singly along the length of the body: includes the earthworms


of, relating to, or belonging to the class Oligochaeta

Word Origin for oligochaete

C19: from New Latin; see oligo-, chaeta
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

Science definitions for oligochaete


oligochete (ŏlĭ-gō-kēt′, ōlĭ-)

Any of various annelid worms of the class Oligochaeta. Oligochaetes, unlike polychaetes, have relatively few bristles (called setae) along the body, and often have a thickened, ringlike region (called a clitellum) that secretes a substance used for enclosing eggs in a cocoon. Oligochaetes include the earthworms and a few small freshwater forms. Compare polychaete.

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