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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 crustaceans
  • Many insects, and especially certain crustaceans, show us what wonderful changes of structure can be effected during development.
  • Pressurized evolution accounts for the strange crustaceans and tubeworms found near thermal vents on the ocean floor.
  • Our extensive live collection demonstrates natural habitats of many unusual insects, arachnids and crustaceans.
  • Flamingoes, for instance, extract pink pigments from algae and crustaceans they filter out of the water.
  • Merchants sell fossilized insects, crustaceans and plants.
  • New laws around the world protect crustaceans' rights--and make it illegal to boil them alive.
  • The author was never a huge fan of the crustaceans--until she tried these lettuce and rice wraps.
  • New laws around the world protect crustaceans' rights--and make it illegal to boil them alive.
  • Ocean acidification is taking its toll on crustaceans--the bellwether species for changes in the water's pH balance.
  • The results show that around a fifth of the world's marine species are crustaceans such as crabs, lobsters, krill and barnacles.
British Dictionary definitions for crustaceans


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 crustaceans



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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crustaceans 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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crustaceans 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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