Definition of parapodium in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌparəˈpōdēəm/

noun (plural parapodia /-dēə/)

1(In a polychaete worm) each of a number of paired muscular bristle-bearing appendages used in locomotion, sensation, or respiration.
Example sentences
  • Subsequently work on a brittle star showed expression of the gene in the tube feet, and many found it difficult to equate the tube feet of echinoderms with the parapodia of polychaetes or the arthropod limb.
  • The Polychaeta lack a clitellum and have parapodia, paddle-like appendages with numerous bristles or chaetae.
  • Muller and Westheide found the innervation pattern of myzostomid parapodia and marginal cirri to be identical to that of polychaete parapodia and cirri.
1.1(In a sea slug or other mollusk) a lateral extension of the foot used as an undulating fin for swimming.
Example sentences
  • Among the Anaspidea, numerous species of the genus Aplysia, such as A. brasiliana, are capable of swimming by undulating their parapodia.
  • The lateral edge of the parapodium was left free to contract.
  • The pteropod mollusk Clione limacina swims by flapping a pair of wing-like parapodia.



Pronunciation: /-dēəl/
Example sentences
  • However, behaviors that are outwardly different, such as the lateral bending of Melibe or the parapodial flapping and undulations of Clione and Aplysia brasiliana differ in their neuronal substrate.
  • However, a very key interneuron in Melibe resides in the pedal ganglion, as is the case in both of the parapodial flappers, Aplysia and Clione, but neither of the dorsal-ventral swimmers.
  • Either one or both parapodia were cut free from the body wall, taking care not to cut the parapodial nerves that connect the pedal ganglia to the periphery.


Late 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek para- 'subsidiary' + pous, pod- 'foot'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: par·a·po·di·um

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