There are 2 definitions of Medusa in English:


Syllabification: Me·du·sa
Pronunciation: /məˈd(y)o͞osə, -zə
Greek Mythology
  • The only mortal Gorgon, whom Perseus killed by cutting off her head.

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Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrəˈgāSHən
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space

There are 2 definitions of Medusa in English:


Syllabification: me·du·sa
Pronunciation: /məˈd(y)o͞osə, -zə

noun (plural medusae /-sē, -sī, -zē, -zī/ or medusas)

  • 1A free-swimming sexual form of a coelenterate such as a jellyfish, typically having an umbrella-shaped body with stinging tentacles around the edge. In some species, medusae are a phase in the life cycle that alternates with a polypoid phase. Compare with polyp.
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    • A medusa, or jellyfish, is part of the life cycle of just one major group of animals, the cnidarians.
    • Cnidarians have two basic body forms, medusa and polyp.
    • Two major adult body types characterize the phylum: the medusa is typically a mobile pelagic organism, and the polyp is typically a sessile benthic organism.
  • 1.1A jellyfish.
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    • In studies with a microscope, Forbes had shown that hydroid jellyfish known as naked-eyed medusae reproduce not only by spewing eggs, but also by asexual budding, which he found marvelous to behold.
    • This specialized tank creates a waterflow that keeps medusae and other delicate animals in constant suspension assuring that their tissues are not destroyed by abrasive contact with aquarium walls.
    • Noteably, all epipelagic, midwater, and deepsea medusae have very simple, reduced, or absent ocelli.


mid 18th century: named by association with Medusa.

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