Definition of Medusa in English:

Medusa

Pronunciation: /mɪˈdjuːsə//mɪˈdjuːzə/

proper noun

Greek Mythology
  • The only mortal gorgon, whom Perseus killed by cutting off her head.

Pronunciation:

Medusa

/mɪˈdjuːsə//mɪˈdjuːzə/

Definition of medusa in English:

medusa

Pronunciation: /mɪˈdjuːsə//mɪˈdjuːzə/

noun

Zoology
  • 1A free-swimming sexual form of a coelenterate such as a jellyfish, typically having an umbrella-shaped body with stinging tentacles around the edge. In some species, medusae are a phase in the life cycle which alternates with a polypoid phase.

    Compare with polyp
    • ‘Two major adult body types characterize the phylum: the medusa is typically a mobile pelagic organism, and the polyp is typically a sessile benthic organism.’
    • ‘Scyphozoan polyps and medusae exhibit no cephalization and contain no brain, but in some species, light-sensitive eyespots are located along the bell margin of the medusa.’
    • ‘In polyps, medusae, and worms, all longitudinal and circumferential muscles attach to the thin body wall over a wide area.’
    • ‘A medusa, or jellyfish, is part of the life cycle of just one major group of animals, the cnidarians.’
    • ‘Cnidarians have two basic body forms, medusa and polyp.’
    1. 1.1A jellyfish.
      • ‘Noteably, all epipelagic, midwater, and deepsea medusae have very simple, reduced, or absent ocelli.’
      • ‘This specialized tank creates a waterflow that keeps medusae and other delicate animals in constant suspension assuring that their tissues are not destroyed by abrasive contact with aquarium walls.’
      • ‘In studies with a microscope, Forbes had shown that hydroid jellyfish known as naked-eyed medusae reproduce not only by spewing eggs, but also by asexual budding, which he found marvelous to behold.’
      • ‘Remaining undigested by the medusa, the small snail will devour its host from within, growing larger as its host is correspondingly diminished in size.’
      • ‘Predation by an abundance of medusae on zooplankton and ichthyoplankton could affect the North Sea ecosystem through top-down and bottom-up mechanisms.’

Origin

Mid 18th century: named by association with Medusa.

Pronunciation:

medusa

/mɪˈdjuːsə//mɪˈdjuːzə/