Definitions

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.pl. An extensive artificial division of the animal kingdom, including the parasitic worms, or helminths, together with the nemerteans, annelids, and allied groups. By some writers the branchiopods, the bryzoans, and the tunicates are also included. The name was used in a still wider sense by Linnæus and his followers.
  • n.pl. A more restricted group, comprising only the helminths and closely allied orders.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Worms: formerly including animals resembling the common earthworm, but having no exact classifieatory sense, and hence no standing in zoölogy.
  • The sixth and last division of animals in the Linnean “SystemaNaturæ”(1766), defined as consisting of those animals which have tentacles, cold white blood, and an inaurieulate unilocular heart, and comprising all animals which Linnæus did not dispose under the five other classes Mammalia, Aves, Amphibia, Pisces, and Insecta (or vertebrates and insects).
  • One of the eight primary divisions of the animal kingdom; a subkingdom or phylum, one of the leading types of animal life, comprising all those animals which have a body-cavity (Metazoa), no backbone (Invertebrata), normally an intestinal canal (which Cœlentera have not), not a radiate structure (which Echinodermata have), legs if any not jointed (they are always jointed in Arthropoda), and body vermiform if there are no legs.
  • [lowercase] Plural of vermis.

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