Definition of millipede in US English:

millipede

(also millepede)

noun

  • A myriapod invertebrate with an elongated body composed of many segments, most of which bear two pairs of legs. Most kinds are herbivorous and shun light, living in the soil or under stones and logs.

    Class Diplopoda: several orders

    • ‘Plant material accumulated on the pond bottom, creating anoxic conditions that favored the preservation of terrestrial arthropods such as the millipedes and arachnids.’
    • ‘The large collection includes earthworms, slugs, snails, beetles, earwigs, ants, moths, crickets, spiders, millipedes and centipedes.’
    • ‘The arthropodes, like centipedes, beetles, millipedes and worms, bring in the finishing touches to complete the composting.’
    • ‘Terrestrial animal life was limited to unwinged insects like millipedes and scorpions.’
    • ‘In areas where acid rain is most severe, the supplementary calcium-rich foods that female songbirds depend on - snail shells, isopods such as pill bugs, millipedes, and earthworms - may be in short supply.’
    • ‘In fact, when the ground is still warm from the fires, ants, wood beetles, millipedes, and centipedes are busy.’
    • ‘I received a sample of millipedes and crane fly larvae from a seedling corn field.’
    • ‘Thousands of legs, like a giant millipede crawling across the floodplain, kick up puffs of blush-colored dust.’
    • ‘These tireless toilers of the soil include such creatures as the earthworms, woodlice and millipedes.’
    • ‘They include such things as spiders, leeches, millipedes, pill bugs, flatworms, mites, beetles, and water dwellers such as water scorpions and nematode worms.’
    • ‘Insects mined and bored every bit of wood and leaf, while centipedes and millipedes crawled all over.’
    • ‘Some arthropods, like the centipedes, millipedes, and insects, have legs with a single branch (uniramous appendages).’
    • ‘Pulmonate snails, millipedes, scorpions, spiders and mites were certainly present, but are not known from fossils.’
    • ‘They are predators on spiders, mites, millipedes, and other insects.’
    • ‘The rubbish also attracted beetles, flies, centipedes and millipedes.’

Origin

Early 17th century: from Latin millepeda ‘woodlouse’, from mille ‘thousand’ + pes, ped- ‘foot’.

Pronunciation

millipede

/ˈmiləˌpēd//ˈmɪləˌpid/