any microscopic animal of the phylum (or class) Rotifera, found in fresh and salt waters, having one or more rings of cilia on the anterior end.
Also called wheel animalcule.

1785–95; < Neo-Latin; see Rotifera

rotiferal [roh-tif-er-uhl] , rotiferous, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
rotifer (ˈrəʊtɪfə)
Also called: wheel animalcule any minute aquatic multicellular invertebrate of the phylum Rotifera, having a ciliated wheel-like organ used in feeding and locomotion: common constituents of freshwater plankton
[C18: from New Latin Rotifera, from Latin rota wheel + ferre to bear]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
rotifer   (rō'tə-fər)  Pronunciation Key 
Any of various tiny, multicellular aquatic animals of the phylum Rotifera, having a wheel-like ring of cilia at their front ends. The cilia trap small organisms for food. Rotifers are grouped by some scientists together with nematodes and some other invertebrates as aschelminths.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
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