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[noo-ston, nyoo-]
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  1. the aggregate of minute aquatic organisms that float or swim in the surface film of a body of water.

Origin of neuston

1925–30; < German; noun use of neuter of Greek neustós swimming, verbid of neîn to swim
Related formsneus·tic, neus·ton·ic [noo-ston-ik, nyoo-] /nuˈstɒn ɪk, nyu-/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for neuston


  1. organisms, similar to plankton, that float on the surface film of open water
  2. the ecosystem of the surface film of open water in which such organisms as copepods graze on tiny flagellates, bacteria, etc
Derived Formsneustonic, adjective

Word Origin

C20: via German from Greek neustos swimming, from nein to swim
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