Try Our Apps


Is irregardless a word?


[fawr-uh-min-uh-fer, for-] /ˌfɔr əˈmɪn ə fər, ˌfɒr-/
noun, plural foraminifers, foraminifera
[fuh-ram-uh-nif-er-uh] /fəˌræm əˈnɪf ər ə/ (Show IPA)
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.
Also called foraminiferan
[fuh-ram-uh-nif-er-uh n] /fəˌræm əˈnɪf ər ən/ (Show IPA),
Origin of foraminifer
1835-45; < New Latin Foraminifera, equivalent to Latin forāmin-, stem of forāmen foramen + -ifera; see -i-, -fer
Related forms
foraminiferal, foraminiferous, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for foraminiferan


any marine protozoan of the phylum Foraminifera, having a shell with numerous openings through which cytoplasmic processes protrude Often shortened to foram See also globigerina, nummulite
Derived Forms
foraminiferal (fɒˌræmɪˈnɪfərəl), 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
Cite This Source
foraminiferan in Science
Any of various chiefly marine protozoans of the order Foraminiferida or Foraminifera, having a body enclosed by a shell called a test and making up an important constituent of plankton. Perforations in a foraminiferan's test allow the protrusion of numerous long extensions (pseudopods), which form a net used to trap food. The tests of foraminiferans grow throughout the organism's life, and can exceed 5 cm (2 inches) in diameter. The tests of dead organisms form ooze found on the ocean floor. Extinct foraminiferans are important index fossils.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for foraminifer

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for foraminiferan

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for foraminiferan