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[spir-yuh-luh, -oo-luh]
noun, plural spir·u·lae [spir-yuh-lee, -oo-lee] /ˈspɪr yəˌli, -ʊˌli/.
  1. any cephalopod of the genus Spirula, having a flat, spiral shell that is partly inside and partly outside the posterior part of the body.
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Origin of spirula

1825–35; < New Latin; Late Latin spīrula twisted cake. See spira, -ule
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for spirula

Historical Examples of spirula

  • The latter is partly straight and partly convoluted, nearly as in Spirula.

    A Manual of Elementary Geology

    Charles Lyell.

  • They originate at the aboral extremity where they remain in Spirula (fig. 18).

  • A series of Chambers joining each other, as in Nautilus, Spirula, &c.

    A Conchological Manual

    George Brettingham Sowerby

  • The E. spirula of certain Brazilian monkeys and of the Barbary ape bears a strong resemblance to the species from the hog.


    T. Spencer Cobbold

  • In places in New Zealand, and elsewhere, large fossil deposits of Spirula peroni occur.

British Dictionary definitions for spirula


  1. a tropical cephalopod mollusc, Spirula peronii, having prominent eyes, short arms, and a small flattened spirally coiled internal shell: order Decapoda (cuttlefish and squids)
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Word Origin for spirula

C19: via New Latin from Late Latin: a small twisted cake, from Latin spīra a coil
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