Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A cardiac thrombus usually found post-mortem.
  • n. An octopus.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Same as polyp.
  • n. A tumor, usually with a narrow base, somewhat resembling a pear, -- found in the nose, uterus, etc., and produced by hypertrophy of some portion of the mucous membrane.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In zoöl : A-poulp or cuttle.
  • n. A polyp, in any sense
  • n. [capitalized] A genus of cuttles. A genus of polyps.
  • n. In pathology, any kind of tumor growing from a mucous membrane, of rounded form, and more or less distinctly pedunculated. The term is most frequently applied to benign growths

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a small vascular growth on the surface of a mucous membrane

Etymologies

From Latin polypūs, from Ancient Greek πολύπους (polupous) (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "O Mrs. Booth! could I have been certain that I had occasioned this, however innocently I had occasioned it, I could never have survived it; but the surgeon who opened him after his death assured me that he died of what they called a polypus in his heart, and that nothing which had happened on account of me was in the least the occasion of it.

    Amelia — Complete

  • It appeared to us that the production called polypus resembled an animal much less than a carrot or asparagus.

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • "Applied also to the nose it cureth the disease called polypus, which by time and sufferance stoppeth the nostrils."

    Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure

  • Now this power of reproduction increases as you descend the scale; as an instance, take the polypus, which is as near as possible at the bottom of it.

    Olla Podrida

  • Those who have attended to the habits of the polypus, which is found in the stagnant water of our ditches in July, affirm, that the young ones branch out from the side of the parent like the buds of trees, and after a time separate themselves from them.

    Zoonomia, Vol. I Or, the Laws of Organic Life

  • a creature called a polypus, that it still assumes the exact colour of that thing to which it cleaves.

    Sermons Preached Upon Several Occasions. Vol. V.

  • But it would be like dissecting a 'polypus' or a 'madrepore' to enter into explanation with her.

    Selections from the Letters of Geraldine Endsor Jewsbury to Jane Welsh Carlyle

  • A ludicrous example of this is a woman out West, whose picture graces the advertisements of a certain nostrum, accompanied by a testimonial that said nostrum cured her of a "polypus"!

    Alcohol: A Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine, How and Why What Medical Writers Say

  • A kind of polypus (mollusques), [30] known by seamen under the name of _galère_, was frequently driven in great numbers on our raft, and when their long arms clung to our naked bodies, they caused us the most cruel sufferings.

    Naufrage de la frigate la Méduse. English

  • They had a transparent dorsal and two pectoral fins, which were all I observed, and a long thin snout or beak; the mouth was just at the end of it, on the top: some of them were thorny on the back; we caught also some crabs; a very minute blue fish; a black and red insect resembling a flea; a species of Diphyes; a very small kind of polypus; and one or two small jellyfish.

    Journals of Two Expeditions of Discovery in North-West and Western Australia, Volume 2

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Comments

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  • Possible ancient folk etymology. In Latin and some Greek dialects from which Latin borrowed it, the word had a long O (ω or ου), not the short [o;] of polu- "many"; and it inflected as a normal second declension noun in -ος, thus plural polypi, as if not a compound of pod- "foot". So it's possible it's a borrowing into Greek which has been altered to fit the folk etymology "many-foot". But if so, this happened as early as Mycenean, which shows -pod- inflection.

    January 16, 2009

  • From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
    Unnumbered and enormous polypi
    Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
    —Tennyson, 'The Kraken Wakes'

    July 15, 2008