(see usage notes)
Any of several marine molluscs/mollusks, of the family '', having no internal or external protective shell or bone (unlike the nautilus, squid or cuttlefish) and eight arms each covered with suckers.
(uncountable) The flesh of these marine molluscs eaten as food.
An organization that has many powerful branches controlled from the centre.
The plural octopi is hypercorrect, coming from the mistaken notion that the (term
) in . The plural octopii is based on an incorrect attempt to pluralise the word based on an incorrect assumption of its origin, and is rare and widely considered to be nonstandard.
Sources differ on which plurals are acceptable: (w, Fowler's Modern English Usage)'' asserts that “the only acceptable plural in English is octopuses”, while (Merriam-Webster) and other dictionaries accept (term) as a plural form. The ''(Oxford English Dictionary)
), and (term
) (the order reflecting decreasing frequency of use), stating that the last form is rare.
The term octopod (either plural octopods and octopodes can be found) is taken from the taxonomic order Octopoda but has no classical equivalent, and is not necessarily synonymous (it can encompass any member of that order). The collective form (term
) is usually reserved for animals consumed for food.
* 2006 (Kate Atkinson), One Good Turn (Black Swan(2007), ISBN 9780552772440), page 81:
*:Martin was pretty dull as names went but 'Alex' Blake' had a certain dash to it. His publishers hadn't considered Martin's own name to be 'punchy' enough. The pseudonym ' Alex Blake was chosen after much deliberation, most of which excluded Martin. 'A strong, no-nonsense sort of name', his editor said, 'to compensate'. For what, she didn't say.
, short form of Alexandra or the female name Alexis, or a spelling variant of Alix.
* 2008 , The Northern Clemency (Harpercollins, ISBN 9780007174799), page 588:
- 'I had a Christmas card from someone calling herself Alex the year before last,' Daniel said. 'I couldn't think who it was.'
- 'Oh, yes, she's changed again,' Alice said. 'I never got used to Alexandra, either. It never occurred to me that Sandra was short for Alexandra - anyway, she's Sandra on her birth certificate.'