[muh-doo-suh, -zuh, -dyoo-]
noun, plural medusas, medusae [muh-doo-see, -zee, -dyoo-] . Zoology.
a saucer-shaped or dome-shaped, free-swimming jellyfish or hydra.

1750–60; special use of Medusa, alluding to the Gorgon's snaky locks

medusoid [muh-doo-soid, -dyoo-] , adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
medusa (mɪˈdjuːzə)
n , pl -sas, -sae
1.  jellyfish another name for jellyfish
2.  Compare polyp medusoid, Also called: medusan one of the two forms in which a coelenterate exists. It has a jelly-like umbrella-shaped body, is free swimming, and produces gametes
[C18: from the likeness of its tentacles to the snaky locks of Medusa]
adj, —n

Medusa (mɪˈdjuːzə)
Greek myth See also Pegasus a mortal woman who was transformed by Athena into one of the three Gorgons. Her appearance was so hideous that those who looked directly at her were turned to stone. Perseus eventually slew her

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"jellyfish," 1758, as genus name, from the name of one of the three Gorgons with snakes for hair, whose glance turned to stone him who looked upon it (attested in English from late 14c.). Her name is from Gk. Medousa, lit. "guardian," fem. prp. of the verb medein "to protect, rule over" (see
Medea). The zoological name was chosen by Linnæus, suggested by the creature's long tentacles.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
medusa   (mĭ-d'sə)  Pronunciation Key 
Plural medusas or medusae (mĭ-d'sē)
A cnidarian in its free-swimming stage. Medusas are bell-shaped, with tentacles hanging down around a central mouth. Jellyfish are medusas, while corals and sea anemones lack a medusa stage and exist only as polyps. Compare polyp.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
Medusa [(mi-dooh-suh, mi-dooh-zuh)]

The best known of the monster Gorgons of classical mythology; people who looked at her would turn to stone. A hero, Perseus, was able to kill Medusa, aiming his sword by looking at her reflection in a highly polished shield.

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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