- 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
Related Words for homunculusgnome, pygmy, midget, bantam, runt, Lilliputian, manikin, midge, homunculus, punk, half-pint, peewee, shrimp
Examples from the Web for homunculus
Historical Examples of homunculus
I prefer the talk of the French homunculus; it is at least more amusing.A Bundle of Letters
The homunculus offered me his last book, with his last smile.The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard
He satisfied himself that the brain of this homunculus was discernible.A Few Words About the Devil
Meanwhile the Homunculus has found congenial spirits among the sea-nymphs and sirens on the shores of the Aegean.
As he watches, the outlines of a diminutive human being—a mannikin or 'homunculus'—become visible and rapidly gain distinct form.
- 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.