• WordNet 3.6
    • n Ctenophora comb jellies; sea acorns; a small phylum formerly considered a class of Coelenterata
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n. pl Ctenophora (Zoöl) A phylum of invertebrates, commonly ellipsoidal in shape, swimming by means of eight longitudinal rows of paddles. They are commonly called the comb jellies, because the separate paddles somewhat resemble combs. This phylum was formerly classified as a subdivision (class) within the Cœlenterata.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n Ctenophora A genus of crane-flies, of the family Tipulidæ, characterized by the lateral processes of the antennal joints of the male, whence the name. There are 9 European and 7 North American species. The larvæ live in dead wood. The genus was founded by Meigen in 1803.
    • n Ctenophora A genus of spiders, of the family Theridiidæ, based by Blackwall in 1870 upon a Sicilian species, C. monticola.
    • Ctenophora A class of Cœlenterata; formerly, an order of acalephs. They are pellucid gelatinous marine organisms, are radially symmetrical, and swim by means of eight meridional ciliated bands, rows of pectinations or ctenophores, whence the name. In form they are spheroidal or cylindroidal, rarely cestoid. They possess an esophageal tube and a gastrovascular system, and often two lateral retractile tentacles, but no corallum. They are hermaphrodite, reproduction being by ova discharged through the mouth. A localized senseorgan called a ctenocyst is present. True nematocysts are usually wanting, but are represented by organs known as fixing or prehensile cells, the base of which is a spirally coiled thread, while the free extremity is enlarged, projecting, and glutinous. The Ctenophora are divided by some into four orders, Lobatæ, Tæniatæ, Saccatæ, and Eurystomata; by others directly into a number of families. Such forms as Eurhamphæa, Cestum, Cydippe, and Beroe are severally characteristic of the main divisons. Also called Ciliograda.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n.pl Ctenophora ten-of′o-ra a sub-class of Cœlenterates—beautifully delicate, free-swimming marine organisms, generally globular, moving by means of comb-like plates.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., from Gr. , , comb + to carry
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. kteis, ktenos, a comb, pherein, to carry.


In literature:

The third Order, the Ctenophorae, are among the most beautiful of the Acalephs.
"Atlantic Monthly, Volume 10, Number 59, September, 1862" by Various
AGASSIZ, A.: 1874, Embryology of the Ctenophorae.
"The Nature of Animal Light" by E. Newton Harvey
The Ctenophorae differ from other Jelly-fishes in their mode of locomotion.
"Seaside Studies in Natural History" by Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz
The Ctenophora developed later out of a branch of the latter.
"The History of Creation, Vol. II (of 2)" by Ernst Haeckel