[on-i-kof-er-uh n]
  1. any small, predatory, caterpillarlike animal of the phylum Onychophora, common in tropical forests, having stubby legs ending in pincers.

Origin of onychophoran

1885–90; < New Latin Onychophor(a) phylum name (< Greek onycho-, combining form of ónyx; see onyx) + New Latin -phora, neuter plural of -phorus -phore + -an
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British Dictionary definitions for onychophoran


  1. any wormlike terrestrial invertebrate of the phylum Onychophora, having a segmented body, short unjointed limbs, and breathing by means of tracheae: intermediate in structure and evolutionary development between annelids and arthropods

Word Origin for onychophoran

from New Latin Onychophora, from Greek onukh- nail, claw + -phore
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