c.1400, "nasal tumor," from L. polypus "cuttlefish," also "nasal tumor," from Gk. (Doric, Aeolic) polypos "octopus, cuttlefish," from polys "many" (see plenary) + pous "foot." Sense extended 1742 to hydras and sea anemones (earlier polypus, c.1520).
A cnidarian in its sedentary stage. Polyps have hollow, tube-shaped bodies with a central mouth on top surrounded by tentacles. Some cnidarians, such as corals and sea anemones, only exist as polyps after their larval stage, while others turn into medusas as adults or lack a polyp stage completely. Compare medusa.
An abnormal growth extending from a mucous membrane, as of the intestine.