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[kuh-lis-er-uh] /kəˈlɪs ər ə/
noun, plural chelicerae
[kuh-lis-uh-ree] /kəˈlɪs əˌri/ (Show IPA)
one member of the first pair of usually pincerlike appendages of spiders and other arachnids.
Compare pedipalp.
Origin of chelicera
1825-35; < New Latin, equivalent to cheli- cheli- + Greek kér(as) horn + Latin -a feminine noun ending
Related forms
cheliceral, adjective
[kuh-lis-uh-reyt, -er-it] /kəˈlɪs əˌreɪt, -ər ɪt/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for chelicerae
  • The first pair of appendages, the chelicerae, serve in feeding and defense.
  • Prey is located with the pedipalps and killed and cut into pieces by the chelicerae.
  • The males, being much smaller, inject far less venom with smaller chelicerae.
  • The first two segments of the prosoma bear no appendages the third bears the chelicerae.
British Dictionary definitions for chelicerae


noun (pl) -erae (-əˌriː)
one of a pair of appendages on the head of spiders and other arachnids: often modified as food-catching claws
Derived Forms
cheliceral, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin, from French chélicère, from chél- see chela1 + -cère from Greek keras horn
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for chelicerae

1831, plural of Modern Latin chelicera, from Greek khele "claw, talon, cloven hoof," from PIE *ghel-wo-, from root *ghel-una- "jaw," + keras "horn" (see kerato-). Earlier chelicer (1835), from French chélicère.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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