Share this entry
polyp Line breaks: polyp
Pronunciation: /ˈpɒlɪp/

Definition of polyp in English:


1 Zoology A solitary or colonial sedentary form of a coelenterate such as a sea anemone, typically having a columnar body with the mouth uppermost surrounded by a ring of tentacles. In some species, polyps are a phase in the life cycle which alternates with a medusoid phase. Compare with medusa.
Example sentences
  • A few, such as Hydra, are solitary polyps that lack a medusoid stage.
  • Most hydrozoans alternate between a polyp and a medusa stage - they spend part of their lives as ‘jellyfish’ which are hard to distinguish from scyphozoan jellyfish.
  • Instead, many used a scenario approach to conclude that solitary sessile polyps represent the ancestral cnidarian form.
2 Medicine A small growth, usually benign and with a stalk, protruding from a mucous membrane.
Example sentences
  • The laser can also provide relief for symptoms caused by benign airway tumors such as hamartomas, papillomas, polyps, and angiomas.
  • What's more, most tumors start out as polyps, or benign growths, in the colon.
  • Screening for and removal of colorectal cancer and precancerous adenomatous polyps can decrease the incidence of colon disease.


sense 2.
Example sentences
  • This constraint of cell proliferation to the border was also obtained even for polypous carcinomas.
  • Experience in observation and treatment of 193 patients with polypous lesions of the gallbladder (PLGB) was analyzed.


Late Middle English (in sense 2): from Old French polipe, from Latin polypus (see polypus). sense 1 dates from the mid 18th century.

Definition of polyp in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources