Try Our Apps


Words You've Been Using Wrong


[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.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for spermatozoon


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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for spermatozoon

(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
Cite This Source
spermatozoon 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.
Cite This Source
spermatozoon 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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for spermatozoon

Difficulty index for spermatozoon

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for spermatozoon

Scrabble Words With Friends