Any of various slow-moving, microscopic invertebrates of the phylum Tardigrada that have four body segments, eight legs, and a chitinous cuticle, inhabit aquatic or moist terrestrial environments, and can withstand extreme temperatures.
Any of various slow-moving, minute invertebrates of the phylum Tardigrada. Tardigrades have a head and four fused body segments, each of which has a pair of stubby legs ending in claws. They live in water, damp moss, flower petals, or sand, and are usually 1 mm (0.04 inches) or less in size. Tardigrades are able to resist extremely low temperature, pressure, and humidity, and go into dormant states for months or years. They are believed to be intermediate in evolutionary development between annelids and arthropods.
Of or belonging to the Tardigrada.
Slow in action; slow-moving.
Any of a phylum (Tardigrada) of minute water animals with segmented bodies and four pairs of unsegmented legs, often regarded as primitive arthropods.
Other Word Forms
Origin of tardigrade
- New Latin Tardigrada phylum name from neuter pl. of Latin tardigradus slow-moving tardus slow -gradus walking, moving (from gradī to go transgress) Adj., sense 2, from Latin tardigradus
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Latin tardigradus (“slowly stepping"), from tardus (“slow") + gradior (“step, walk")
- From New Latin Tardigrada (“a phylum of microscopic animals").