[ 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.

Origin of spirula

First recorded in 1825–35; from New Latin, from Late Latin spīrula “twisted cake.” See spiro-2, -ule

Words Nearby spirula

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use spirula in a sentence

  • Among the tufts of grass on the sloping sides of this mound were great numbers of spirula-shells in a tolerably perfect condition.

    Cruise of the 'Alert' | R. W. Coppinger
  • In places in New Zealand, and elsewhere, large fossil deposits of spirula peroni occur.

  • After a gale, on looking amongst the wrack cast up by the highest waves, large numbers of our spirula will be found.

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

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

    A Conchological Manual | George Brettingham Sowerby

British Dictionary definitions for spirula


/ (ˈspaɪrʊlə) /

  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)

Origin of 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