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spermatozoon

[spur-mat-uh-zoh-uh n, -on, spur-muh-tuh-]
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noun, plural sper·mat·o·zo·a [spur-mat-uh-zoh-uh, spur-muh-tuh-] /spɜrˌmæt əˈzoʊ ə, ˌspɜr mə tə-/. Cell Biology.
  1. one of the minute, usually actively motile gametes in semen, which serve to fertilize the ovum; a mature male reproductive cell.

Origin of spermatozoon

From New Latin, dating back to 1830–40; see origin at spermato-, -zoon
Related formssper·mat·o·zo·al, sper·mat·o·zo·an, sper·mat·o·zo·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for spermatozoa

Historical Examples

  • Spermatozoa originate in the testis as cells, which are filled with granules.

    Plain Facts for Old and Young

    John Harvey Kellogg

  • Spermatozoa are produced in Spongilla from spherical cells not unlike the eggs in general appearance.


British Dictionary definitions for spermatozoa

spermatozoon

noun plural -zoa (-ˈzəʊə)
  1. any of the male reproductive cells released in the semen during ejaculation, consisting of a flattened egg-shaped head, a long neck, and a whiplike tail by which it moves to fertilize the female ovumAlso called: sperm, zoosperm
Derived Formsspermatozoal, spermatozoan or spermatozoic, adjective
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 spermatozoa

n.

plural of spermatozoon, 1836, from comb. form of Greek sperma (see sperm) + zoon (see zoo).

spermatozoon

n.

(plural spermatozoa), "male sexual cell," 1836, from Greek spermato-, combining form of sperma (genitive spermatos; see sperm) + zoion "animal" (see zoo)

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

spermatozoa in Medicine

spermatozoon

(spər-măt′ə-zōŏn′, -ən, spûr′mə-tə-)
n. pl. sper•mat•o•zo•a (-zōə)
  1. The mature male gamete or sex cell that consists of a cylindrical nucleated cell with a short neck and a thin motile tail, contains genetic information to be transmitted by the male, exhibits autokinesia, and is able to effect zygosis with an ovum; sperm.
Related formssper•mat′o•zoal (-zōəl) null null adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

spermatozoa in Science

spermatozoon

[spər-măt′ə-zōŏn′]
Plural spermatozoa
  1. A sperm cell produced in the testis of an animal.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.