- an elongated, rod-shaped structure composed of cells, forming the primitive supporting axis of the body in the lowest chordates and lying between the digestive tract and the central nervous system
- a similar structure in the embryonic stages of higher vertebrates, which later is surrounded and replaced by the vertebral column
Origin of notochordnoto- + chord
A flexible rodlike structure that is present in the embryos of all chordates and in the adult forms of certain groups, such as the lancelets and hagfishes. The notochord develops into the spinal column in most vertebrates.
Origin of notochordGreek n&omacron;ton, back + chord2.