Definition of Tardigrada in US English:

Tardigrada

plural noun

Zoology
  • A small phylum that comprises the water bears.

    • ‘Despite their overall abundance and cosmopolitan distribution, the Tardigrada have been relatively neglected by invertebrate zoologists.’
    • ‘The phylum Tardigrada is often classified as one of the ‘lesser-known’ groups of protostomes.’
    • ‘Other ecdysozoan phyla include Nematoda, Tardigrada, and Onychophora; this classification thus removes onychophorans from the Arthropoda and makes them an outgroup.’
    • ‘The recently published Ecdysozoa hypothesis suggests a closer relationship of the Scalidophora, Nematode, Nematomorpha, Tardigrada, Onychophora, and Arthropoda.’
    • ‘However, on both morphological and molecular grounds it seems that two groups that are sometimes given phylum rank, the Onychophora and the Tardigrada, are the closest living relatives of the arthropods.’

Origin

Modern Latin (plural), from Latin tardigradus, from tardus ‘slow’ + gradi ‘to walk’.

Pronunciation

Tardigrada

/tärˈdiɡrədə/