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.
a protozoan of the genus Amoeba, inhabiting bottom vegetation of freshwater ponds and streams: used widely in laboratory studies.
Origin of ameba
< New Latinamoeba < Greekamoibḗ change, alternation, akin to ameíbein to exchange
British Dictionary definitions for amoeba (1 of 2)
/ (əˈmiːbə) /
nounplural-bae (-biː) or-bas
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
Derived FormsamoebicorUSamebic, adjective
Word Origin for amoeba
C19: from New Latin, from Greek amoibē change, from ameibein to change, exchange
British Dictionary definitions for amoeba (2 of 2)
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.
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.