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

  • n. Any of various small aquatic crustaceans of the order Cladocera, especially the daphnid, that typically swim with jerking flealike motions.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various aquatic crustacea of the order Cladocera, characterised by their jumping or jerky mode of swimming.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Any one of numerous species of small aquatic Entomostraca belonging to the genera Cyclops, Daphnia, etc; -- so called because they swim with sudden leaps, or starts.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One of numerous small or minute crustaceans which skip about in the water like fleas, as Daphnia pulex; any branchiopod. See Daphniid├Ž, Cladocera, Cyclops.

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

  • n. minute free-swimming freshwater copepod having a large median eye and pear-shaped body and long antennae used in swimming; important in some food chains and as intermediate hosts of parasitic worms that affect man e.g. Guinea worms
  • n. minute freshwater crustacean having a round body enclosed in a transparent shell; moves about like a flea by means of hairy branched antennae

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