Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[lans-lit, lahns-] /ˈlæns lɪt, ˈlɑns-/
any of several small, lancet-shaped burrowing marine animals of the subphylum Cephalochordata, having a notochord and bearing structural similarities to both vertebrates and invertebrates.
Also called amphioxus.
1565-75; lance2 + -let Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for lancelet
  • Leaves are lancelet shaped with prominent white veins and smooth or finely serrated edges.
  • In adult plants, leaves are lancelet shaped with prominent white veins and smooth or finely serrated edges.
British Dictionary definitions for lancelet


any of several marine animals of the genus Branchiostoma (formerly Amphioxus), esp B. lanceolatus, that are closely related to the vertebrates: subphylum Cephalochordata (cephalochordates) Also called amphioxus
Word Origin
C19: referring to the slender shape
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
Cite This Source
lancelet in Science
Any of various small, transparent, fishlike marine organisms of the subphylum Cephalochordata that are related to vertebrates but have a notochord instead of a true backbone. Unlike other primitive chordates, lancelets have a body divided into serially repeated muscular segments. Also called amphioxus.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for lancelet

any member of the subphylum Cephalochordata of the phylum Chordata. Small, fishlike marine invertebrates, they probably are the closest living relatives of the vertebrates. There are about 20 species in two families, each with a single genus. Branchiostoma was formerly called Amphioxus, a name that is retained as an informal term. The other genus is Epigonichthys, also called Asymmetron. The genus Asymmetron is sometimes retained for some species

Learn more about lancelet with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for lancelet

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for lancelet

Scrabble Words With Friends