Definition of lancelet in English:


Syllabification: lance·let
Pronunciation: /ˈlanslit


  • A small elongated marine invertebrate that resembles a fish but lacks jaws and obvious sense organs. Lancelets possess a notochord and are among the most primitive chordates.
    • Subphylum Cephalochordata, phylum Chordata: several species, including amphioxus
    More example sentences
    • Biologists could examine the many living animals (such as lancelets and sea squirts) that represented stages in the transition from the invertebrates to the earliest jawless fishes.
    • In lancelets, the trunk somites extend and fuse ventrally to give the unsegmented periviscelar coelom.
    • Unlike lancelets, however, Haikouella possessed a small number of pharyngeal bars that may have been composed of mucocartilage, as in modern lampreys.


mid 19th century: from the noun lance (because of its long narrow form) + -let.

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