- any of several large, oceanic hydrozoans of the genus Physalia, having a large, bladderlike structure with a saillike crest by which they are buoyed up and from which dangle tentacles with stinging cells.
Origin of Portuguese man-of-war
First recorded in 1700–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- any of several large complex colonial hydrozoans of the genus Physalia, esp P. physalis, having an aerial float and long stinging tentacles: order SiphonophoraSometimes shortened to: man-of-war
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