trilobite

[trahy-luh-bahyt]
noun
  1. any marine arthropod of the extinct class Trilobita, from the Paleozoic Era, having a flattened, oval body varying in length from 1 inch (2.5 cm) or less to 2 feet (61 cm).

Origin of trilobite

1825–35; < New Latin Trilobites, equivalent to Greek trílob(os) three-lobed (see tri-, lobe) + -ītēs -ite1
Related formstri·lo·bit·ic [trahy-luh-bit-ik] /ˌtraɪ ləˈbɪt ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for trilobite

trilobite

noun
  1. any extinct marine arthropod of the group Trilobita, abundant in Palaeozoic times, having a segmented exoskeleton divided into three parts
Derived Formstrilobitic (ˌtraɪləˈbɪtɪk), adjective

Word Origin for trilobite

C19: from New Latin Trilobītēs, from Greek trilobos having three lobes; see tri-, lobe
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

Word Origin and History for trilobite
n.

extinct marine arthropod, 1832, from Modern Latin Trilobites (Walch, 1771), from Greek tri- "three" (see three) + lobos "lobe" (see lobe); so called because its body is divided into three lobes.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

trilobite in Science

trilobite

[trīlə-bīt′]
  1. Any of numerous extinct and mostly small arthropods of the subphylum Trilobita that lived during the Paleozoic Era and are extremely common as fossils. Trilobites had a hard outer covering divided into three lengthwise and three widthwise sections. Their heads had two prominent compound eyes similar in structure to those of modern insects.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.