chordate [kawr-deyt]Zoology Word Origin adjective

  1. belonging or pertaining to the phylum Chordata, comprising the true vertebrates and those animals having a notochord, as the lancelets and tunicates.


  1. a chordate animal.

Origin of chordate First recorded in 1885–90; see origin at Chordata British Dictionary definitions for chordate chordate noun

  1. any animal of the phylum Chordata, including the vertebrates and protochordates, characterized by a notochord, dorsal tubular nerve cord, and pharyngeal gill slits


  1. of, relating to, or belonging to the Chordata

Word Origin for chordate C19: from Medieval Latin chordata; see chord 1 + -ate 1 Word Origin and History for chordate

1885, noun and adjective, from Chordata.

chordate in Medicine chordate [kôr′dāt′, -dĭt] n.

  1. An animal of the phylum Chordata, which includes all vertebrates.

chordate in Science chordate [kôr′dāt′]

  1. Any of a large group of animals of the phylum Chordata, having at some stage of development a notochord (flexible spinal column) and nerve cord running along the back, a tail stretching above and behind the anus, and gill slits. Chordates probably evolved before the Cambrian Period and are related to the hemichordates, echinoderms, and chaetognaths. The vertebrates, tunicates, and cephalochordates are the three main groups of chordates.

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