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trilobite

[trahy-luh-bahyt]
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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).
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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

Examples from the Web for trilobite

Historical Examples

  • To the geologist man is just as much and just as little as a trilobite or a megatherium.

    Modern Skepticism

    C. J. Ellicott

  • I will also exchange minerals for stalagmites, and a trilobite for a stalactite.

  • The appendages are not known, but the test is in some ways like that of a trilobite.

  • Trilobite—trīlo-bīte, not trĭlo-bīte nor trŏllo-bīte, as it is often called.

  • One of the most abundant fossil animals in ancient rocks is called a trilobite.


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
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Derived Formstrilobitic (ˌtraɪləˈbɪtɪk), adjective

Word Origin

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.

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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.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.