polychaete definition by Webster's New World
any of a class (Polychaeta) of mostly marine, annelid worms, having on most segments a pair of fleshy, leglike appendages bearing numerous bristles
Origin: ; from Modern Latin Polychaeta ; from Classical Greek polychaitēs, with much hair ; from poly-, poly- plush chaitē, hair
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- polychaetous adjective
polychaete - Science Definition
Any of various often brightly colored annelid worms of the class Polychaeta. Each segment of a polychaete has a pair of fleshy appendages that are tipped with bristles (setae), used for swimming or burrowing. Most species of polychaetes live in saltwater, feed on tiny aquatic animals and plants, and range in size from a few millimeters to 3 m (10 ft) in length. Compare oligochaete.