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[plaz-moh-dee-uh m] /plæzˈmoʊ di əm/
noun, plural plasmodia
[plaz-moh-dee-uh] /plæzˈmoʊ di ə/ (Show IPA)
Biology. an ameboid, multinucleate mass or sheet of cytoplasm characteristic of some stages of organisms, as of myxomycetes or slime molds.
any parasitic protozoan of the genus Plasmodium, causing malaria in humans.
Origin of plasmodium
From New Latin, dating back to 1870-75; See origin at plasm-, -ode1, -ium
Related forms
plasmodial, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for plasmodia
Historical Examples
  • How was it that no one asked himself how it was possible that the plasmodia could enter the current of the blood from the air?

  • plasmodia vary in color in different species and at different times in the same species.

    The North American Slime-Moulds

    Thomas H. (Thomas Huston) MacBride
  • The most satisfactory studies are obtained by plasmodia carefully brought in directly from the field.

    The North American Slime-Moulds

    Thomas H. (Thomas Huston) MacBride
  • Do not their amœboid spores and plasmodia ally them at once to the amœba and his congeners, to all the monad, rhizopodal world?

    The North American Slime-Moulds

    Thomas H. (Thomas Huston) MacBride
  • Malaria and similar diseases are caused by plasmodia, which are protozoa and not bacteria.

British Dictionary definitions for plasmodia


noun (pl) -dia (-dɪə)
an amoeboid mass of protoplasm, containing many nuclei: a stage in the life cycle of certain organisms, esp the nonreproductive stage of the slime moulds
any parasitic sporozoan protozoan of the genus Plasmodium, such as P. falciparum and P. vivax, which cause malaria
Derived Forms
plasmodial, adjective
Word Origin
C19: New Latin; see plasma, -ode1
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
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Word Origin and History for plasmodia



1871, Modern Latin, coined 1863 in Germany from plasma + -odium, from Greek -odes "like" (see -oid).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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plasmodia in Medicine

plasmodium plas·mo·di·um (plāz-mō'dē-əm)
n. pl. plas·mo·di·a (-dē-ə)

  1. A multinucleate mass of cytoplasm formed by the aggregation of a number of amoeboid cells, as that characteristic of the vegetative phase of the slime molds.

  2. A protozoan of the genus Plasmodium, which includes the parasites that cause malaria.

Plasmodium n.
A genus of protozoans that are parasites of the red blood cells of vertebrates and include the causative agents of malaria.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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plasmodia in Science
Plural plasmodia
  1. A mass of protoplasm having many cell nuclei but not divided into separate cells. It is formed by the combination of many amoeba-like cells and is characteristic of the active, feeding phase of certain slime molds.

  2. Any of various single-celled organisms (called protozoans) that exist as parasites in vertebrate animals, one of which causes malaria.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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