- an artificially made dwarf, supposedly produced in a flask by an alchemist.
- a fully formed, miniature human body believed, according to some medical theories of the 16th and 17th centuries, to be contained in the spermatozoon.
- a diminutive human being.
- the human fetus.
Origin of homunculus
- a miniature man; midget
- (in early biological theory) a fully-formed miniature human being existing in a spermatozoon or egg
Word Origin for homunculus
1650s, from Latin homunculus, literally "little person," from homo (genitive hominis) "man, human being," the Latin word that means "man, person, a human being" (technically "male human," but in logical and scholastic writing "human being"), also "the human race, mankind," perhaps from PIE *(dh)ghomon-, literally "earthling," from *dhghem- "earth" (see chthonic; also cf. human). With -culus, Latin diminutive suffix. Other Latin diminutives from homo included homullus, homuncio.
- A diminutive human.
- A miniature, fully formed individual which adherents of the early biological theory of preformation believed to be present in the sperm cell.