Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The parasitic larva of most freshwater mussels, having hooks for attaching to the gills or other external parts of a host fish.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun [capitalized] In zoology, a generic name given to the young of certain fresh-water mussels, as Unio and Anodonta, which are hatched in the gills of the parent, and were at one time supposed to be parasites. Rathke
  • noun In botany, a hair-like appendage to the massulæ of heterosporous Filicineæ, by which the massulæ attach themselves to the macrospores after both have been discharged into the water.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) The larva or young of the mussel, formerly thought to be a parasite upon the parent's gills.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun zoology The larva or young of the mussel.

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

  • noun a barbed spine or bristle (often tufted on cacti)

Etymologies

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

[New Latin glōchidium : Greek glōkhīs, barb of an arrow + Latin -idium, diminutive suff. (from Greek -idion).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Ancient Greek the point of an arrow.

Examples

  • A fish is infinitely more mobile than a mussel; it can swim a long way in the one-to-three-month period during which a glochidium is on its gills.

    Zach Klein Universal Feed

  • Ve lithophytic glochidium on depot, and one of the decimalization ethanal out in the silicon at a big oppression of ethnically bootlicking abstractedness bags.

    Rational Review

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