One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural nautiluses, Plural nautili
1A cephalopod mollusc with a light external spiral shell and numerous short tentacles around the mouth.
Genus Nautilus, the only surviving genus of the subclass Nautiloidea: several species, in particular the pearly nautilus
- ‘Most resorts in Manado can make special arrangements with local fishermen to show you the prehistoric nautilus.’
- ‘The shell contains a gas which makes it semi-buoyant, permitting the nautilus to change depth and to swim.’
- ‘The shape of the museum is like a giant, spiral seashell - a nautilus - made of concrete.’
- ‘The eggs and hatchlings of the chambered nautilus are the largest of all cephalopods.’
- ‘The aborigines believe that the skeleton of each dead moon drops into the sea and becomes the shell of the chambered nautilus.’
- ‘Some patterns in nature are formed by natural growth mechanisms, as with the spiral shape of the nautilus shell.’
- ‘The beautiful nautilus shell is white to orange, with white stripes and a central, black whorl.’
- ‘The pearly nautilus is an exception to most generalizations about cephalopods.’
- ‘Unlike most other cephalopods that have a short life span, the chambered nautilus can live 16 or more years.’
- ‘Geology students recommend you check out the nautilus shells in limestone mounted on the bar.’
2another term for argonaut
Modern Latin, from Latin, from Greek nautilos, literally ‘sailor’.
The first nuclear-powered submarine, launched in 1954. This US navy vessel made a historic journey (1–5 August 1958) under the ice of the North Pole.
A name previously given to Robert Fulton's ‘diving boat’ (1800), also to the fictitious submarine in Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea.
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