- 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
Examples from the Web for homunculi
In thy philosophy there is naught but dreams of elixirs of life or homunculi.The Faust-Legend and Goethe's 'Faust'
H. B. Cotterill
The two homunculi are terrified, and try to hide themselves.The Magic of the Middle Ages
His work, his days spent with crowds of homunculi had given him a taste for solitude and the habit of it.Old Mole
Homunculi quanti sunt, cum recogito—What poor creatures we men are, when I think of it.
- a miniature man; midget
- (in early biological theory) a fully-formed miniature human being existing in a spermatozoon or egg
Word Origin and History for homunculi
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.