[ huh-muhng-kyuh-luhs, hoh- ]
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noun,plural ho·mun·cu·li [huh-muhng-kyuh-lahy, hoh-]. /həˈmʌŋ kyəˌlaɪ, hoʊ-/.
  1. an artificially made dwarf, supposedly produced in a flask by an alchemist.

  2. a fully formed, miniature human body believed, according to some medical theories of the 16th and 17th centuries, to be contained in the spermatozoon.

  1. a diminutive human being.

  2. the human fetus.

Origin of homunculus

1650–60; <Latin, equivalent to homun- (variant of homin-, stem of homō man; see Homo) + -culus-cule1

Other words from homunculus

  • ho·mun·cu·lar, adjective

Words Nearby homunculus

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How to use homunculus in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for homunculus


/ (hɒˈmʌŋkjʊləs) /

nounplural -li (-ˌlaɪ)
  1. a miniature man; midget

  2. (in early biological theory) a fully-formed miniature human being existing in a spermatozoon or egg

Origin of homunculus

C17: from Latin, diminutive of homo man
  • Former name: homuncule (həʊˈmʌŋkjuːl)

Derived forms of homunculus

  • homuncular, adjective

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