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[kruh-stey-shuh n] /krʌˈsteɪ ʃən/
any chiefly aquatic arthropod of the class Crustacea, typically having the body covered with a hard shell or crust, including the lobsters, shrimps, crabs, barnacles, and wood lice.
belonging or pertaining to the crustaceans.
Origin of crustacean
1825-35; < New Latin Crustace(a) (neuter plural) hard-shelled ones (see crust, -acea) + -an Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for crustacean
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Nature has willed that the crustacean should not long remain an invalid.

    The Ocean World: Louis Figuier
  • “This is a magnificent specimen of the crustacean period,” he declared.

    'Me-Smith' Caroline Lockhart
  • This crustacean is an Anilocrian so common that we can scarcely imagine it to have escaped the attention of any naturalist.

    Animal Parasites and Messmates P. J. Van Beneden
  • This crustacean tube a thousand feet long solved the matter.

    James Watt Andrew Carnegie
  • The head in the first example resembles an owl and in the second reminds one of some crustacean form.

  • Its punishment was simply that it was a Sacculina—that it was a Sacculina when it might have been a crustacean.

  • The crustacean waves these around to gather food, and eats the pieces they capture that are too big for them.

    Planet of the Damned Harry Harrison
  • In the substance of this polyp lives a crustacean, the nature of which Mons.

    Animal Parasites and Messmates P. J. Van Beneden
  • I am nearly sure that Dana makes out that the greatest number of crustacean forms inhabit warmer temperate regions.

British Dictionary definitions for crustacean


any arthropod of the mainly aquatic class Crustacea, typically having a carapace hardened with lime and including the lobsters, crabs, shrimps, woodlice, barnacles, copepods, and water fleas
of, relating to, or belonging to the Crustacea
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin crūstāceus hard-shelled, from Latin crūsta shell, crust
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 crustacean

1835, from Crustacea the class name. As an adjective, 1858 (earlier was crustaceous, 1640s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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crustacean in Science
Any of various widespread arthropods of the class Crustacea that live mostly in water and have a hard shell, a segmented body, and jointed appendages. Crustaceans include crabs, lobsters, shrimp, barnacles, and copepods.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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crustacean in Culture
crustacean [(kru-stay-shuhn)]

A class of arthropods with shells.

Note: Crabs, lobsters, shrimp, and crayfish are crustaceans.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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