• WordNet 3.6
    • n cuttlefish ten-armed oval-bodied cephalopod with narrow fins as long as the body and a large calcareous internal shell
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Cuttlefish (Zoöl) A cephalopod of the genus Sepia, having an internal shell, large eyes, and ten arms furnished with denticulated suckers, by means of which it secures its prey. The name is sometimes applied to dibranchiate cephalopods generally.
    • Cuttlefish A foul-mouthed fellow. "An you play the saucy cuttle with me."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n cuttlefish A cephalopod; specifically, a cephalopod of the genus Sepia and family Sepiidæ; a dibranchiate cephalopodous mollusk, with a depressed body, inclosed in a sac. The shorter arms or feet, eight in number, covered with four rows of raised disks or suckers, are arranged around the mouth, and from the midst of them extend two long tentacles, also furnished with disks. These members the animal uses in walking, for attaching itself to objects, and for seizing its prey. A tube or funnel exists below the head and leads from the gills, through which the water admitted to these organs is expelled; and the creature, by ejecting the water with force, can dart backward with amazing velocity. In a sac on the back of the mantle there is a light, porous, calcareous shell formed of thin plates; this is the cuttlebone or sepiost, corresponding to the calamary or pen of the squids. (See calamary.) The cuttlefish has the power of ejecting a black, ink-like fluid, the sepia of artists (see sepia), from a bag or sac, so as to darken the water and conceal itself from pursuit. From this usage the term cuttlefish is extended not only to all the forms of Sepiidæ and related decapod cephalopods, but also to the octopod members of the same class. When the octopods are called cuttlefishes, the decapods are commonly distinguished as squids. The two figures illustrate the two principal types. See Decapoda, Octopoda, and Cephalopoda, and cuts under Dibranchiata, ink-bag, and Sepia.
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  • Joseph Addison
    “Our disputants put me in mind of the cuttlefish that, when he is unable to extricate himself, blackens the water about him till he becomes invisible.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. codule, AS. cudele,; akin to G. kuttelfish,; cf. G. kötel, D. keutel, dirt from the guts, G. kuttel, bowels, entrails. AS. cwiþ, womb, Goth. qiþus, belly, womb


In literature:

The Baron is paying court to your lady love, a cuttlefish bone that she is.
"A Distinguished Provincial at Paris" by Honore de Balzac
Next moment the boat ran with a thud into a monster cuttlefish.
"The Crew of the Water Wagtail" by R.M. Ballantyne
Some of them have been seen to vomit lumps of these cuttlefish as long as a whale-boat.
"Fighting the Whales" by R.M. Ballantyne
Why not some strange thing of the air, as a cuttlefish is of the sea?
"The Wind Bloweth" by Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne
It is very similar to the ordinary cuttlefish, only, of course very much larger.
"With Airship and Submarine" by Harry Collingwood
But he does think, slowly and tenaciously, as a cuttlefish grips.
"A Poor Man's House" by Stephen Sydney Reynolds
At times the many-armed cuttlefish is seen to leap out of the water, while the star-fish, with its five arms of equal length, abounds.
"Foot-prints of Travel" by Maturin M. Ballou
Look at this cuttlefish before he squirts.
"Somehow Good" by William de Morgan
The Romans made extensive use of sepia, the coloring substance obtained from the cuttlefish.
"Books Before Typography" by Frederick W. Hamilton
Governments have learned wisdom from the cuttlefish, and can muddy the water on their enemies at the moment of danger.
"Tom Burke Of "Ours", Volume II (of II)" by Charles James Lever

In poetry:

"Tell us of thy food,--those half-marine refections,
Crinoids on the shell and Brachipods au naturel,--
Cuttlefish to which the pieuvre of Victor Hugo
Seems a periwinkle.
"To The Pliocene Skull" by Francis Bret Harte

In news:

Cross-dressing mourning cuttlefish make it hard for their fellow mollusks to tell male from female.
Whisknladle's Wild Prawns with Cuttlefish Ink Tagliatelle, Uni Saffron Creme, Fresno Chiles and Fava Leaves.
Color-shifting cuttlefish inspire TV screens.
Two cuttlefish demonstrate a rare ability to change skin color in response to environment.
For all the men out there who think they planned something clever for Valentine's Day, consider the ingenuity of the male Australian cuttlefish .
Rice, colored black with the ink of squid or cuttlefish, is commonplace in parts of Italy and Spain, but in this country it is a startling curiosity.
Gazing inquisitively through its "W"-shaped pupils as its suckered arms hang down from its face, the cuttlefish might seem alien to us, but it could tell us more about ourselves than we realize.
Deer Isle Shrimp, cauliflower, cuttlefish noodles, chorizo, marcona almond, fried spoon bread.
The first course had just been served in the Costa Concordia's dining room when the wine glasses, forks and plates of cuttlefish and mushrooms smashed to the ground.
Show students the images of the cuttlefish and its parts.
Quick Change Artists See how cuttlefish use their powers of transformation for much more than staying hidden.
Octopuses , along with their cephalopod cousins squids and cuttlefish, are considered to be some of the most intelligent invertebrates out there.
Cuttlefish in Faliraki bay, Rhodes island, Greece 2012.