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[spur-mat-uh-zoh-uh n, -on, spur-muh-tuh-] /spɜrˌmæt əˈzoʊ ən, -ɒn, ˌspɜr mə tə-/
noun, plural spermatozoa
[spur-mat-uh-zoh-uh, spur-muh-tuh-] /spɜrˌmæt əˈzoʊ ə, ˌspɜr mə tə-/ (Show IPA).
Cell Biology.
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 forms
spermatozoal, spermatozoan, spermatozoic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for spermatozoa


noun (pl) -zoa (-ˈzəʊə)
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 ovum Also called sperm, zoosperm
Derived Forms
spermatozoal, spermatozoan, 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
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Word Origin and History for spermatozoa

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



(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
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spermatozoa in Medicine

spermatozoon sper·mat·o·zo·on (spər-māt'ə-zō'ŏn', -ən, spûr'mə-tə-)
n. pl. sper·mat·o·zo·a (-zō'ə)
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.

sper·mat'o·zo'al (-zō'əl) or sper·mat'o·zo'an (-zō'ən) or sper·mat'o·zo'ic (-zō'ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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spermatozoa in Science
Plural spermatozoa
A sperm cell produced in the testis of an animal.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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