Definition of Chordata in English:


Pronunciation /-ˈdātə//kôrˈdätə/

proper noun

  • A large phylum of animals that includes the vertebrates together with the sea squirts and lancelets. They are distinguished by the possession of a notochord at some stage during their development.

    • ‘The superphylum Deuterostomia contains the diverse phyla Chordata and Echinodermata and the minor phyla Hemichordata and Urochordata.’
    • ‘Technically an invertebrate, amphioxus is classified in subphylum Protochordata, phylum Chordata.’
    • ‘Vertebrates are members of the larger phylum Chordata, and show all of the major chordate features at some point in their life cycles: notochord, dorsal hollow nerve cord, pharyngeal slits, and a post-anal tail.’
    • ‘The phylum Chordata comprises three subphyla - the vertebrates, the cephalochordates, such as amphioxus, and the urochordates, such as the ascidians.’
    • ‘The Chordata is the animal phylum with which everyone is most intimately familiar, since it includes humans and other vertebrates.’


Modern Latin (plural), from Latin chorda (see chord), on the pattern of words such as Vertebrata.