American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various colonial marine hydroids of the genus Obelia, having various specialized feeding and reproductive polyps and growing in a branchlike form. Colonies of obelia are found as a delicate furlike growth on the wooden piles of piers and wharves.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A genus of campanularian polyps, distinguished from Campanularia by the flat discoidal medusæ with many marginal tentacles and eight interradial vesicles. O. longissima is a large and beautiful species found in deep water along the New England coast, the colonies measuring sometimes twelve inches in length.
- From Ancient Greek (obelia, "a round cake"). (Wiktionary)
- New Latin Obelia, genus name, probably from Greek obeliās, a loaf baked on a spit, from obelos, a spit. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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