• WordNet 3.6
    • n Tardigrada in some classifications considered a separate phylum: microscopic arachnid-like invertebrates living in water or damp moss having 4 pairs of legs and instead of a mouth a pair of stylets or needlelike piercing organs connected with the pharynx
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Tardigrada (Zoöl) A tribe of edentates comprising the sloths. They are noted for the slowness of their movements when on the ground. See Sloth, 3.
    • Tardigrada (Zoöl) An order of minute aquatic arachnids; -- called also bear animalcules sloth animalcules, and water bears.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • Tardigrada In Illiger's classification (1811), the eighth order of mammals, containing the sloths, with which, however, the sloth-bear (Prochilus) was included. With elimination of this, the term is used for the sloth family and some of the related extinct forms. Compare Gravigrada. See cuts under as wail and Cholopus.
    • Tardigrada Water-bears or bear-animalcules, an order of Arachnida synonymous with Arctisca. (See also Macrobiotidæ.) The order is sometimes raised to the rank of a class apart from Arachnida. See cut under Arctisca.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL. See Tardigrade (a.)


In literature:

But for them, the Tardigrada would closely resemble the vermiform larva so common among insects.
"On the Origin and Metamorphoses of Insects" by Sir John Lubbock