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From Translingual genus name Ophiura (originally species name in Linnaeus), from New Latin ophiurus (brittle star), from Ancient Greek ὄφις (óphis, serpent) + οὐρά (ourá, tail) (referring to the serpent-like arms of the brittle star). This English form by conflation with suffix -ure (result of an action; official procedure).


ophiure (plural ophiures)

  1. (rare) Any echinoderm of the class Ophiuroidea
    • 1815, William Elford Leach and Richard P. Nodder, The zoological miscellany, page 59:
    • 1845, Encyclopaedia Metropolitana, Volume 7, page 269:
      In the Ophiure, the arms are of great length, and in Euryale, each arm, directly it stretches out beyond the body, divides into two branches, and these again into others, which again and again divide, assuming the appearance of interweaving branches of a tree, and which they employ for entangling their prey.
    • 1864, The sea, translator unknown, original by M. J. Michelet, page 128:
      From the bottom of his nets a fisherman one day gave me three almost dying creatures, a sea hedgehog, a sea star, and another star, a pretty ophiure, which still moved and soon lost its delicate arms.
    • 1889, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, volume 15, Royal Society of Edinburgh, page 219:
      Their food consisted of shells, worms, and Ophiures.
    • 1990, Acta Societatis Zoologicae Bohemoslovacae, volume 54, Czechoslovak Zoological Society, page 3:
      Other symbionts found on the same host were: Lissoporcellana pectinata Haig (Porcellanidae), crabs Quadrella sp. (Trapeziidae), some specimens of spider-crab family Majidae, and ophiures (Echinodermata, Ophiuroidea).
    • 1999, Oceanology, volume 39, American Geophysical Union, page 87:
      As for the species level, ophiures Amphiodia urtica dominate.
    • 2004, Dmitry G. Matishov, Gennady G. Matishov, Radioecology in Northern European Seas, Springer, page 150:
      Ophiures (Ophiocten gracialis Sars) and starfishes (Pontaster tenuispinus), inhabiting the bottom near the submarine «Komsomolets», contained similarly low levels of 60Co (Kuznetsov et al., 1996, 1997a).




  • IPA(key): /ɔ.fjyʁ/
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ophiure f (plural ophiures)

  1. ophiuroid, brittle star