Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

foraminifer

[fawr-uh-min-uh-fer, for-]
See more synonyms for foraminifer on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural for·a·min·i·fers, fo·ram·i·nif·er·a [fuh-ram-uh-nif-er-uh] /fəˌræm əˈnɪf ər ə/.
  1. 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.
Show More

Origin of foraminifer

1835–45; < New Latin Foraminifera, equivalent to Latin forāmin-, stem of forāmen foramen + -ifera; see -i-, -fer
Also called fo·ram·i·nif·er·an [fuh-ram-uh-nif-er-uh n] /fəˌræm əˈnɪf ər ən/, foram.
Related formsfo·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. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for foraminiferan

foraminifer

noun
  1. 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
Show More
Derived Formsforaminiferal (fɒˌræmɪˈnɪfərəl) or foraminiferous, adjective

Word Origin

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

foraminiferan in Science

foraminiferan

[fə-răm′ə-nĭfər-ən]
  1. Any of various chiefly marine protozoans of the order Foraminiferida or Foraminifera, having a body enclosed by a shell called a test and making up an important constituent of plankton. Perforations in a foraminiferan's test allow the protrusion of numerous long extensions (pseudopods), which form a net used to trap food. The tests of foraminiferans grow throughout the organism's life, and can exceed 5 cm (2 inches) in diameter. The tests of dead organisms form ooze found on the ocean floor. Extinct foraminiferans are important index fossils.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.