[ an-uh-mal-kyool ]
See synonyms for animalcule on
  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
  • Also called an·i·mal·cu·lum [an-uh-mal-kyuh-luhm] /ˌæn əˈmæl kyə ləm/ .

Other words from animalcule

  • 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

Words Nearby animalcule Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use animalcule in a sentence

  • This is a one-celled animal known as the paramœcium or the slipper animalcule (because of its shape).

    A Civic Biology | George William Hunter
  • Indeed, too sadly so, and I dare apply but a flash of the microscope to the rageing dilemmas of this animalcule.

    Rhoda Fleming, Complete | George Meredith
  • These movements are termed amoebiform, because they quite resemble the movements of a small animalcule which is named amoeba.

  • Shall physical or chemical forces explain why the animalcule digs into the hard clay?

    The Life of the Fly | J. Henri Fabre
  • At one end of the ascending scale of organic life we see an animalcule swimming in the direction in which it is attracted by food.

    Parallel Paths | Thomas William Rolleston

British Dictionary definitions for animalcule


animalculum (ˌænɪˈmælkjʊləm)

/ (ˌænɪˈmælkjuːl) /

nounplural -cules or -cula (-kjʊlə)
  1. a microscopic animal such as an amoeba or rotifer

Origin of animalcule

C16: from New Latin animalculum a small animal

Derived forms of animalcule

  • animalcular, 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