c. 1400, "nasal tumor," from Old French polype and directly from Latin polypus "cuttlefish," also "nasal tumor," from Greek (Doric, Aeolic) polypos "octopus, cuttlefish," from polys "many" (from PIE root *pele- (1) "to fill") + pous "foot" (from PIE root *ped- "foot"). The etymological sense was revived 1742 as a name for hydras and sea anemones (earlier polypus, early 16c.). The Latin word is the source of French poulpe "octopus," and polyp was used in English from 1580s for "octopus, cuttlefish, eight- or ten-armed cephalopod," though this sense seems now to be obsolete.
updated on August 19, 2020
Dictionary entries near polyp