- a minute or microscopic animal, nearly or quite invisible to the naked eye, as an infusorian or rotifer.
- Archaic. a tiny animal, as a mouse or fly.
Origin of animalcule
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for animalcule
The microscope cannot find the animalcule which is less perfect for being little.Essays, First Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
His first form is that which is permanent in the animalcule.
But man contemplates the universe as an animalcule would an elephant.Zanoni
Edward Bulwer Lytton
An animalcule that does not wriggle must be morbid or peculiar.The Daughters of Danaus
In the light of such a rle the animalcule takes on a new interest.A History of Science, Volume 5(of 5)
Henry Smith Williams
- a microscopic animal such as an amoeba or rotifer
C16: from New Latin animalculum a small animal
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 animalcule
"very small animal," especially a microscopic one, 1590s, from Late Latin animalculum, diminutive of Latin animal (see animal (n.)). Related: Animalcular.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper