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[dez-mid] /ˈdɛz mɪd/
any single-celled freshwater algae of the family Desmidiaceae, characterized by a division of the body into mirror-image halves joined by a bridge containing the nucleus, and having a spiny or bristly exterior: sometimes forming into colonies or branching filaments.
Origin of desmid
1860-65; < New Latin Desmidium a genus of the family < Greek desm(ós) a band, chain (compare deîn to fasten) + New Latin -idium -idium
Related forms
desmidian, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for desmid
Historical Examples
  • The desmid has a coat of cellulose, and a less graceful coat of cellulose encloses the Peridinean.

    The Story of Evolution Joseph McCabe
British Dictionary definitions for desmid


any freshwater green alga of the mainly unicellular family Desmidioideae, typically constricted into two symmetrical halves
Derived Forms
desmidian, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin Desmidium (genus name), from Greek desmos bond, from dein to bind
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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