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Any of various mostly microscopic wormlike invertebrates of the obsolete phylum Aschelminthes, including the nematodes, rotifers, and gastrotrichs.

[From New Latin Aschelminthēs, former phylum name : Greek askos, bag (in reference to the pseudocoel found in members of the group) + helmins, helminth-, worm; see wel- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˌæsk hɛlˈmɪnθ)
any invertebrate of a former phylum, the Aschelminthes, including rotifers, nematodes, and gastrotrichs, all of which are now classified as separate phyla.
[< New Latin Aschelminthes; see asc-, helminth]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
A cladistic analysis of pseudocoelomate (aschelminth) morphology.
Comparative ultrastructure of the gastrotrich pharynx and the evolution of myoepithelial foreguts in Aschelminthes. Zoomorphologie 99: 181-200.
18S rRNA data indicate that aschelminthes are polyphyletic in origin and consist of at least three distinct clades.