• synonyms


[goh-nid-ee-uh m]
noun, plural go·nid·i·a [goh-nid-ee-uh] /goʊˈnɪd i ə/.
  1. (in algae) any one-celled asexual reproductive body, as a tetraspore or zoospore.
  2. an algal cell, or a filament of an alga, growing within the thallus of a lichen.
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Origin of gonidium

1835–45; < New Latin, equivalent to gon- gon- + -idium noun suffix
Related formsgo·nid·i·al, go·nid·ic, adjectivego·nid·i·oid, adjectivein·ter·go·nid·i·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gonidium

Historical Examples

  • The motile force is imparted to the gonidium by dense rows of waving cilia with which it is completely surrounded.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 460, October 25, 1884


  • At free end of each sterigma is formed an oval body—a spore or "gonidium" (d), which, when ripe, is thrown off from the sterigma.

British Dictionary definitions for gonidium


noun plural -ia (-ɪə)
  1. a green algal cell in the thallus of a lichen
  2. an asexual reproductive cell in some colonial algae
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Derived Formsgonidial or gonidic, adjective

Word Origin

C19: from New Latin, diminutive from gono-
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

gonidium in Science


Plural gonidia
  1. An asexual reproductive cell found in certain algae that form colonies. Gonidia undergo repeated mitoses to form new colonies, which then hatch out of the parent colonies.
  2. A chlorophyll-bearing, photosynthetic algal cell housed in the thallus of a lichen.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.