Definition of Hexapoda in US English:


  • A class of six-legged arthropods that comprises the insects. The name is used as another term for Insecta, especially when the primitive apterygotes are not considered to be true insects.

    • ‘However, further study of the data suggests a change in dominance over time from the Trilobita to the Hexapoda and Myriapoda.’
    • ‘These two clades, together with the true insects, form the clade Hexapoda.’
    • ‘The superclass Hexapoda includes so-called true insects and several classes of primitive wingless proto-insects.’
    • ‘However, a rival theory - the Pancrustacea hypothesis - suggests that the Crustacea are the stock from which the Hexapoda arose.’
    • ‘Arachnida and Merostomata (horseshoe crabs) are the two extant subclasses that make up the Chelicerata, and Chelicerata, Hexapoda, Crustacea, and Myriapoda together constitute the phylum Arthropoda.’


Modern Latin (plural), from Greek hexapous, hexapod-, from hex ‘six’ + pous ‘foot’.