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[gloh-kid-ee-uh m] /gloʊˈkɪd i əm/
noun, plural glochidia
[gloh-kid-ee-uh] /gloʊˈkɪd i ə/ (Show IPA)
the larva of a freshwater mussel of the family Unionidae that lives as a temporary parasite in the gills or on other external parts of fishes.
Origin of glochidium
1895-1900; < New Latin < Greek glōch(ís) point of an arrow + -idion diminutive suffix
Related forms
glochidial, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for glochidium
  • If a glochidium attaches to the correct fish species, it encysts into the fish's tissue and undergoes a short life as a parasite.
  • If a glochidium attaches to an unsuitable host, it dies.
British Dictionary definitions for glochidium


noun (pl) -chidia (-ˈkɪdɪə)
a barbed hair, esp among the spore masses of water ferns and on certain other plants
a parasitic larva of certain freshwater mussels that attaches itself to the fins or gills of fish by hooks or suckers
Derived Forms
glochidiate, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin, from Greek glōkhis projecting point
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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