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Any of various annelid worms of the class Polychaeta, including mostly marine worms such as the lugworm, and characterized by fleshy paired appendages tipped with bristles on each body segment.

[New Latin Polychaeta, class name, from Greek polukhaitēs, with much hair : polu-, poly- + khaitē, long hair.]

pol′y·chaete′, pol′y·chae′tous adj.
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.


(ˈpɒlɪˌkiːt) or


(Animals) any marine annelid worm of the class Polychaeta, having a distinct head and paired fleshy appendages (parapodia) that bear bristles (chaetae or setae) and are used in swimming: includes the lugworms, ragworms, and sea mice
(Animals) of, relating to, or belonging to the class Polychaeta
[C19: from New Latin, from Greek polukhaitēs: having much hair; see chaeta]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈpɒl ɪˌkit)

1. any of various marine annelid worms of the class Polychaeta, having regularly paired body bristles and often other appendages.
2. Also, pol`y•chae′tous. belonging or pertaining to the Polychaeta.
[1885–90; < New Latin Polychaeta, neuter pl. of polychaetus (with change of declension) < Greek polychaítēs having much hair. See poly-, chaeta]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


Any of various often brightly colored, meat-eating worms that are related to earthworms and leeches and usually live in the ocean. Each segment of a polychaete has a pair of fleshy appendages that are tipped with bristles, used for swimming or burrowing.
The American Heritage® Student Science Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.polychaete - chiefly marine annelids possessing both sexes and having paired appendages (parapodia) bearing bristles
annelid, annelid worm, segmented worm - worms with cylindrical bodies segmented both internally and externally
class Polychaeta, Polychaeta - marine annelid worms
lobworm, lugworm, lug - marine worms having a row of tufted gills along each side of the back; often used for fishing bait
sea mouse - any of several large worms having a broad flattened body with a mat of coarse hairs covering the back
bloodworm - a segmented marine worm with bright red body; often used for bait
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
On the ecology of the polychaetous annelids of the Possjet Bay (Sea of Japan).
The purpose of this study is to determine if there have been changes in the settlement of larval polychaetous annelids on suspended wooden test panels in Los Angeles Harbor since 1950-1951 (Reish 1971b).
Polychaetous annelids are the most abundant and cosmopolitan marine metazoans in the benthic environment [1].
First records of polychaetous annelids from cenote Aerolito (sinkhole and anchialine cave) in Cozumel Island, Mexico.
Hartman O (1974) [1976] Polychaetous annelids of the Indian Ocean including an account of species collected by members of the International Indian Ocean Expeditions, 1963-1964 and a catalogue and bibliography of the species from India.
Biological results of the last cruise of Carnegie: Polychaetous annelids.