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See more synonyms for noctiluca on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural noc·ti·lu·cae [nok-tuh-loo-see] /ˌnɒk təˈlu si/.
  1. a dinoflagellate of the genus Noctiluca, capable of producing light and, in groups, of causing a luminous appearance of the sea.
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Origin of noctiluca

1670–80; < New Latin; Latin noctilūca shiner by night, equivalent to nocti- nocti- + -lūca shiner, derivative of lūcēre to shine
Related formsnoc·ti·lu·can, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for noctiluca

Historical Examples

  • I do not see how they could be the L. noctiluca, as he states.

    The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, Volume VI, Familiar Letters

    Henry David Thoreau

  • Noctiluca flashes on stimulation of any kind, even the slightest agitation causing a brilliant emission of light.

  • Noctiluca miliaris, acted upon by iodine solution, showing the protoplasm shrunk away from the structureless pellicle.

  • The exchange of life-elements between two individuals is well illustrated in the case of the infusorian Noctiluca.

  • Two new individuals are thus formed, and each Noctiluca has absorbed half of the other.

British Dictionary definitions for noctiluca


noun plural -cae (-siː)
  1. any bioluminescent marine dinoflagellate of the genus Noctiluca
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Word Origin

C17: from Latin, from nox night + lūcēre to shine
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