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foraminifer

[fawr-uh-min-uh-fer, for-]
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noun, plural for·a·min·i·fers, fo·ram·i·nif·er·a [fuh-ram-uh-nif-er-uh] /fəˌræm əˈnɪf ər ə/.
  1. any chiefly marine protozoan of the sarcodinian order Foraminifera, typically having a linear, spiral, or concentric shell perforated by small holes or pores through which pseudopodia extend.

Origin of foraminifer

1835–45; < New Latin Foraminifera, equivalent to Latin forāmin-, stem of forāmen foramen + -ifera; see -i-, -fer
Also called fo·ram·i·nif·er·an [fuh-ram-uh-nif-er-uh n] /fəˌræm əˈnɪf ər ən/, foram.
Related formsfo·ram·i·nif·er·al, fo·ram·i·nif·er·ous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for foraminifera

foraminifer

noun
  1. any marine protozoan of the phylum Foraminifera, having a shell with numerous openings through which cytoplasmic processes protrudeOften shortened to: foram See also globigerina, nummulite
Derived Formsforaminiferal (fɒˌræmɪˈnɪfərəl) or foraminiferous, adjective

Word Origin

C19: from New Latin, from foramen + -fer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for foraminifera

Foraminifera

1835, Modern Latin, neuter plural of foraminifer "bearing holes," from Latin foramen "hole, opening, orifice" (see foramen) + -fer "bearing," from ferre "to bear" (see infer). So called because the shells usually are perforated by pores. Related: Foraminiferous.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper