[ roh-tuh-fer ]
/ ˈroʊ tə fər /


any microscopic animal of the phylum (or class) Rotifera, found in fresh and salt waters, having one or more rings of cilia on the anterior end.

Origin of rotifer

From New Latin, dating back to 1785–95; see origin at Rotifera
Also called wheel animalcule.


ro·tif·er·al [roh-tif-er-uh l] /roʊˈtɪf ər əl/, ro·tif·er·ous, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rotifer

British Dictionary definitions for rotifer

/ (ˈrəʊtɪfə) /


any minute aquatic multicellular invertebrate of the phylum Rotifera, having a ciliated wheel-like organ used in feeding and locomotion: common constituents of freshwater planktonAlso called: wheel animalcule

Derived forms of rotifer

rotiferal (rəʊˈtɪfərəl) or rotiferous, adjective

Word Origin for rotifer

C18: from New Latin Rotifera, from Latin rota wheel + ferre to bear
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 rotifer

[ rōtə-fər ]

Any of various tiny, multicellular aquatic animals of the phylum Rotifera, having a wheel-like ring of cilia at their front ends. The cilia trap small organisms for food. Rotifers are grouped by some scientists together with nematodes and some other invertebrates as aschelminths.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.