[ fawr-uh-min-uh-fer, for- ]
/ ˌfɔr əˈmɪn ə fər, ˌfɒr- /
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noun, plural for·a·min·i·fers, fo·ram·i·nif·er·a [fuh-ram-uh-nif-er-uh]. /fəˌræm əˈnɪf ər ə/.

any chiefly marine protozoan of the sarcodinian order Foraminifera, typically having a linear, spiral, or concentric shell perforated by small holes or pores through which pseudopodia extend.



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Also called fo·ram·i·nif·er·an [fuh-ram-uh-nif-er-uhn], /fəˌræm əˈnɪf ər ən/, foram.

Origin of foraminifer

1835–45; <New Latin Foraminifera, equivalent to Latin forāmin-, stem of forāmenforamen + -ifera;see -i-, -fer

OTHER WORDS FROM foraminifer

fo·ram·i·nif·er·al, fo·ram·i·nif·er·ous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for foraminifer

  • The Laurentian rocks have yielded only one fossil—a large foraminifer named Eozoon Canadense.

    Geology|James Geikie
  • One species at least of these creatures was a true Foraminifer, allied, though somewhat distantly, to Eozoon.

  • The foraminifer multiplies by fission, or by a process of budding.

    The Sea Shore|William S. Furneaux

British Dictionary definitions for foraminifer

/ (ˌfɒrəˈmɪnɪfə) /


any marine protozoan of the phylum Foraminifera, having a shell with numerous openings through which cytoplasmic processes protrudeOften shortened to: foram See also globigerina, nummulite

Derived forms of foraminifer

foraminiferal (fɒˌræmɪˈnɪfərəl) or foraminiferous, adjective

Word Origin for foraminifer

C19: from New Latin, from foramen + -fer
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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