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octopus

Syllabification: oc·to·pus
Pronunciation: /ˈäktəpəs
 
/

Definition of octopus in English:

noun (plural octopuses)

A cephalopod mollusk with eight sucker-bearing arms, a soft saclike body, strong beaklike jaws, and no internal shell.
  • Order Octopoda, class Cephalopoda: Octopus and other genera
Example sentences
  • He compares the octopus to the other cephalopods - cuttlefish, crayfish, and the like.
  • The harbor seal's diet consists of fish, cephalopods, such as octopus and squid, and crustaceans.
  • Cephalopods, the octopus, the squid and cuttlefish are the main groups, I think.

Origin

mid 18th century: modern Latin, from Greek oktōpous (see also Octopoda).

More
  • This is from Greek oktōpous, from oktō meaning eight and pous ‘foot’. The prefix gives us words like octagon (late 16th century) an eight-sided figure and octogenarian (early 19th century), someone aged between 80 and 89. In the modern world October (Old English) is the tenth month, but the word comes from Latin octo because it was the eighth month in the Roman calendar. It became the tenth month after the addition of July (named after Julius Caesar), and August (named after the Emperor Augustus) in the 1st century bc.

Usage

The standard plural in English of octopus is octopuses. However, the word octopus comes from Greek, and the Greek plural form octopodes is still occasionally used. The plural form octopi is mistakenly formed according to rules for Latin plurals, and is therefore incorrect.

Derivatives

octopoid

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • What possible justification does this vast octopoid expanse have, other than the exercise of American power?
  • Wolugo was motionless, except for a faint movement of the fleshy flaps deep within the recesses of her mantle cavity, back of the octopoid head.
  • The Oluas were a bizarre octopoid race with Squid heads and tall grey bodies.

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