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animalcule

[ an-uh-mal-kyool ]
/ ˌæn əˈmæl kyul /
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noun

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.

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Also called an·i·mal·cu·lum [an-uh-mal-kyuh-luhm] /ˌæn əˈmæl kyə ləm/ .

Origin of animalcule

First recorded in 1590–1600, animalcule is from the New Latin word animalculum “a small animal.” See animal, -cule1
an·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. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for animalcule

animalcule

animalculum (ˌænɪˈmælkjʊləm)

/ (ˌænɪˈmælkjuːl) /

noun plural -cules or -cula (-kjʊlə)

a microscopic animal such as an amoeba or rotifer
animalcular, adjective
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
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