animalcule

[an-uh-mal-kyool]
See more synonyms for animalcule on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a minute or microscopic animal, nearly or quite invisible to the naked eye, as an infusorian or rotifer.
  2. Archaic. a tiny animal, as a mouse or fly.

Origin of animalcule

First recorded in 1590–1600, animalcule is from the New Latin word animalculum a small animal. See animal, -cule1
Related formsan·i·mal·cu·lar [an-uh-mal-kyuh-ler] /ˌæn əˈmæl kyə lər/, an·i·mal·cu·line [an-uh-mal-kyuh-lin] /ˌæn əˈmæl kyə lɪn/, an·i·mal·cu·lous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for animalcule

animalculum, n, animalcule

Examples from the Web for animalcule

Historical Examples of animalcule


British Dictionary definitions for animalcule

animalcule

animalculum (ˌænɪˈmælkjʊləm)

noun plural -cules or -cula (-kjʊlə)
  1. a microscopic animal such as an amoeba or rotifer
Derived Formsanimalcular, adjective

Word Origin for animalcule

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
n.

"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