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[ol-i-goh-keet] /ˈɒl ɪ goʊˌkit/
any of various annelids of the family Oligochaeta, including earthworms and certain small, freshwater species, having locomotory setae sunk directly in the body wall.
1875-80; < New Latin Oligochaeta; see oligo-, chaeta
Related forms
oligochaetous, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for oligochaetous


any freshwater or terrestrial annelid worm of the class Oligochaeta, having bristles (chaetae) borne singly along the length of the body: includes the earthworms
of, relating to, or belonging to the class Oligochaeta
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin; see oligo-, chaeta
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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oligochaetous in Science
oligochaete or oligochete
  (ŏl'ĭ-gō-kēt', ō'lĭ-)   
Any of various annelid worms of the class Oligochaeta. Oligochaetes, unlike polychaetes, have relatively few bristles (called setae) along the body, and often have a thickened, ringlike region (called a clitellum) that secretes a substance used for enclosing eggs in a cocoon. Oligochaetes include the earthworms and a few small freshwater forms. Compare polychaete.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for oligochaetous


any worm of the class Oligochaeta (phylum Annelida). About 3,200 living species are known, the most familiar of which is the earthworm (q.v.), Lumbricus terrestris. Oligochaetes are common all over the world. They live in the sea, in fresh water, and in moist soil.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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