Serpula Ser"pu*la, n.; pl. {Serpul[ae]}, E. {Serpulas}. [L., a little snake. See {Serpent}.] (Zo["o]l.) Any one of numerous species of tubicolous annelids of the genus {Serpula} and allied genera of the family {Serpulid[ae]}. They secrete a calcareous tube, which is usually irregularly contorted, but is sometimes spirally coiled. The worm has a wreath of plumelike and often bright-colored gills around its head, and usually an operculum to close the aperture of its tube when it retracts. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • serpula — n. (pl. serpulae) any of various marine worms of the family Serpulidae, living in intricately twisted shell like tubes. Etymology: LL, = small serpent, f. L serpere creep …   Useful english dictionary

  • serpuline — ˈsərpyəˌlīn, lə̇n, ˌlēn adjective Etymology: New Latin Serpula + English ine : of or relating to the Serpulidae : formed by or composed of the tubes of serpulae …   Useful english dictionary

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