from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The shedding of an outer integument or layer of skin, as by insects, crustaceans, and snakes; molting.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The shedding of an outer layer of skin in snakes, crustaceans and insects; moulting

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of shedding, or casting off, an outer cuticular layer, as in the case of serpents, lobsters, etc.; a coming out; ; exuviation.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of putting off, coming out of, or emerging; the act of shedding or casting an outer coat or integument, as in the case of serpents and certain insects, or the feathers of birds; the molt: opposed to endysis.

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

  • n. periodic shedding of the cuticle in arthropods or the outer skin in reptiles


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Greek ekdusis, a stripping off, from ekduein, to take off : ek-, out, off; see ecto- + duein, to put on.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek ἔκδυσις (ekdusis, "stripping"), from ἐκδύω (ekduō, "I take off"), from ἐκ (ek, "out") + δύω (duō, "I get in").


  • Spiders grow by shedding their old exoskeleton and replacing it with a larger, less constraining hide, a process known as ecdysis.

    The Killing Kind

  • It's from "ecdysis," a word for the process of shedding one's own skin, snake-style.

    NPR Topics: News

  • It might be a good idea to relate strip-teasing in some way to the...zoological phenomenon of molting,...which is ecdysis.

    Georgia Sothern, H.L.Mencken, Gypsy Rose Lee, and Ecdysiasm

  • During pre-adult life, the exoskeleton is therefore renewed a number of times by the process of moulting or ecdysis.

    Chapter 6

  • Death is caused by incomplete ecdysis and cuticle malformation.

    Chapter 6

  • It inhibits ecdysis and ultimately, apolysis, the first stage in the moulting process in which separation of the old cuticle from the underlying epidermal cells takes place.

    Chapter 7

  • A less common word for the process is ecdysis (ek'dih-sis; "get out" G).

    The Human Brain

  • The last of these attributes to disappear is that of personality, and when this final ecdysis has been performed, the eject which remains is so unlike its original subject, that, as we shall immediately find, it is extremely difficult to trace any points of resemblance between them.

    Mind and Motion and Monism

  • A skin of some dimension was cast in the 16th century, and another towards the end of the 18th, while, within the last fifty years, the extraordinary growth of every department of physical science has spread among us mental food of so nutritious and stimulating a character that a new ecdysis seems imminent.

    Lectures and Essays

  • The ecdysis behavioral program is a critical developmental period that is dependent upon appropriate water and nutrient balance, and likewise, elevated cardiac activity is a hallmark response to a variety of physiological stresses in a variety of organisms as is a circadian regulation of stress hormones

    PLoS ONE Alerts: New Articles


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  • Like an ecdysiast?

    January 11, 2008