[ fuhn-jahy, fuhng-gahy ]
/ ˈfʌn dʒaɪ, ˈfʌŋ gaɪ /


a plural of fungus.

Nearby words

  1. funfest,
  2. fungal,
  3. fungal infection,
  4. fungate,
  5. fungemia,
  6. fungi imperfecti,
  7. fungi-,
  8. fungible,
  9. fungible issue,
  10. fungicide


[ fuhn-jahy, fuhng-gahy ]
/ ˈfʌn dʒaɪ, ˈfʌŋ gaɪ /

noun (used with a plural verb) Biology.

a taxonomic kingdom, or in some classification schemes a division of the kingdom Plantae, comprising all the fungus groups and sometimes also the slime molds.

Origin of Fungi

From New Latin; see origin at fungus

Also called Mycota.


[ fuhng-guh s ]
/ ˈfʌŋ gəs /

noun, plural fun·gi [fuhn-jahy, fuhng-gahy] /ˈfʌn dʒaɪ, ˈfʌŋ gaɪ/, fun·gus·es.

any of a diverse group of eukaryotic single-celled or multinucleate organisms that live by decomposing and absorbing the organic material in which they grow, comprising the mushrooms, molds, mildews, smuts, rusts, and yeasts, and classified in the kingdom Fungi or, in some classification systems, in the division Fungi (Thallophyta) of the kingdom Plantae.
Pathology. a spongy, abnormal growth, as granulation tissue formed in a wound.


Origin of fungus

1520–30; < Latin: fungus, mushroom; perhaps akin to Greek spóngos, sphóngos sponge

Related formsfun·gic [fuhn-jik] /ˈfʌn dʒɪk/, adjectivefun·gus·like, adjective


a combining form representing fungus in compound words: fungicide. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fungi

British Dictionary definitions for fungi


/ (ˈfʌŋɡaɪ, ˈfʌndʒaɪ, ˈfʌndʒɪ) /


a plural of fungus


before a vowel fung-

combining form

fungusfungicide; fungoid


/ (ˈfʌŋɡəs) /

noun plural fungi (ˈfʌŋɡaɪ, ˈfʌndʒaɪ, ˈfʌndʒɪ) or funguses

any member of a kingdom of organisms (Fungi) that lack chlorophyll, leaves, true stems, and roots, reproduce by spores, and live as saprotrophs or parasites. The group includes moulds, mildews, rusts, yeasts, and mushrooms
something resembling a fungus, esp in suddenly growing and spreading rapidly
pathol any soft tumorous growth
Derived Formsfungic (ˈfʌndʒɪk), adjectivefungus-like, adjective

Word Origin for fungus

C16: from Latin: mushroom, fungus; probably related to Greek spongos sponge

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 fungi
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for fungi



The kingdom of organisms that is made up of the fungi and includes the yeasts, molds, mildews, and mushrooms.


[ fŭnggəs ]

n. pl. fun•gi (fŭnjī, fŭng)

Any of numerous eukaryotic organisms that reproduce by spores. The spores of most fungi grow a network of slender tubes called hyphae that spread into and feed off of dead organic matter or living organisms. The hyphae often produce specialized reproductive bodies, such as mushrooms.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for fungi


[ fŭnggəs ]

Plural fungi (fŭnjī, fŭng)

Any of a wide variety of organisms that reproduce by spores, including the mushrooms, molds, yeasts, and mildews. The spores of most fungi grow a network of slender tubes called hyphae that spread into and feed off of dead organic matter or living organisms. Fungi absorb food by excreting enzymes that break down complex substances into molecules that can be absorbed into the hyphae. The hyphae also produce reproductive structures, such as mushrooms and other growths. Some fungi (called perfect fungi) can reproduce by both sexually produced spores and asexual spores; other fungi (called imperfect fungi or deuteromycetes) are thought to have lost their sexual stage and can only reproduce by asexual spores. Fungi can live in a wide variety of environments, and fungal spores can survive extreme temperatures. Fungi exist in over 100,000 species, nearly all of which live on land. They can be extremely destructive, feeding on almost any kind of material and causing food spoilage and many plant diseases. Although fungi were once grouped with plants, they are now considered a separate kingdom in taxonomy. See Table at taxonomy.
Related formsfungal adjective

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for fungi


[ (fun-jeye, fung-geye) ]

sing. fungus

Plantlike organisms lacking chlorophyll, such as mushrooms, molds, yeasts, and mildews. Modern biologists tend to place fungi in their own kingdom, not in the plant kingdom, because they get their nutrients from other living things (or from the remains of living things that have died) rather than from photosynthesis. (See under “Medicine and Health.”)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.