[nek-ton, -tuh n]
- the aggregate of actively swimming aquatic organisms in a body of water, able to move independently of water currents.
Origin of nekton
1890–95; < German, noun use of neuter of nēktós swimming (verbid of nḗchein to swim; see nectopod)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
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Historical Examples of nekton
- the population of free-swimming animals that inhabits the middle depths of a sea or lakeCompare plankton
Word Origin for nekton
C19: via German from Greek nēkton a swimming thing, from nēkhein to swim
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
1893, from German nekton (van Heusen, 1890), from Greek nekton, neuter of nektos "swimming," from nekhein "to swim" (see natatorium).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- The collection of marine and freshwater organisms that can swim freely and are generally independent of currents, ranging in size from microscopic organisms to whales. Compare benthos plankton.
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