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amoeba

[uh-mee-buh]
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noun, plural a·moe·bas, a·moe·bae [uh-mee-bee] /əˈmi bi/.
  1. ameba.
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ameba

or a·moe·ba

[uh-mee-buh]
noun, plural a·me·bas, a·me·bae [uh-mee-bee] /əˈmi bi/.
  1. any of numerous freshwater, marine, or parasitic one-celled protozoa of the order Amoebida, characterized by a granular nucleus surrounded by a jellylike mass of cytoplasm that forms temporary extensions, or pseudopodia, by which the organism moves, engulfs food particles, and forms food vacuoles.
  2. a protozoan of the genus Amoeba, inhabiting bottom vegetation of freshwater ponds and streams: used widely in laboratory studies.
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Origin of ameba

< New Latin amoeba < Greek amoibḗ change, alternation, akin to ameíbein to exchange
Related formsa·me·ba·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

animalculumnanimalcule

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British Dictionary definitions for amoeba

amoeba

US ameba

noun plural -bae (-biː) or -bas
  1. any protozoan of the phylum Rhizopoda, esp any of the genus Amoeba, able to change shape because of the movements of cell processes (pseudopodia). They live in fresh water or soil or as parasites in man and animals
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Derived Formsamoebic or US amebic, adjective

Word Origin

C19: from New Latin, from Greek amoibē change, from ameibein to change, exchange

ameba

noun plural -bae (-biː) or -bas
  1. the usual US spelling of amoeba
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Derived Formsamebic, 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 amoeba

n.

1855, from Modern Latin Amoeba, genus name (1841), from Greek amoibe "change," related to ameibein "to change, exchange," from PIE *e-meigw-, extended form of root *mei- "to change, go, move" (see mutable). So called for its constantly changing shape. Related: Amoebaean; amoebic.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

amoeba in Medicine

amoeba

(ə-mēbə)
n.
  1. Variant ofameba
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Amoeba

(ə-mēbə)
n. pl. a•moe•bas
  1. A genus of protozoa of the class Sarcodina or Rhizopoda.
  2. Any of several genera of protozoa that are parasitic in humans, especially Entamoeba.
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ameba

n. pl. a•me•bas
  1. A protozoa of the genus Amoeba and of related genera, occurring in soil and water and parasitic in animals.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

amoeba in Science

amoeba

[ə-mēbə]
Plural amoebas amoebae (ə-mē)
  1. Any of various one-celled aquatic or parasitic protozoans of the genus Amoeba or related genera, having no definite form and consisting of a mass of protoplasm containing one or more nuclei surrounded by a flexible outer membrane. Amoebas move by means of pseudopods.
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ameba

[ə-mēbə]
  1. Another spelling of amoeba.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

amoeba in Culture

amoeba

[(uh-mee-buh)]

An animal composed of only one cell that has no fixed shape. It is the best known of the single-celled animals, or protozoa.

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Note

The term amoeba is sometimes used to refer to something with an indefinite, changeable shape.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.