One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Botany and Zoology. Having the shape of a mitre or bonnet; (specifically of the calyptra of a moss) conical, symmetrical, and having two or more slits.
2Palaeontology. Of, relating to, or designating a fossil echinoderm of the order Mitrata.
Palaeontology. Any member of the order Mitrata of fossil invertebrates of the Palaeozoic era, having a mitre- or leaf-shaped theca formed of calcite plates, generally regarded as atypical primitive echinoderms but sometimes interpreted as primitive chordates (calcichordates).
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in John Loudon (1783–1843), landscape gardener and horticultural writer. From scientific Latin mitratus shaped like a mitre from classical Latin mitra + -ātus.
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