[ plangk-tuh n ]
/ ˈplæŋk tən /
the aggregate of passively floating, drifting, or somewhat motile organisms occurring in a body of water, primarily comprising microscopic algae and protozoa.
Origin of plankton
1890–95; < German, special use of neuter of Greek planktós drifting, equivalent to plang-, variant stem of plázesthai to drift, roam, wander + -tos verbid suffix
Related formsplank·ton·ic [plangk-ton-ik] /plæŋkˈtɒn ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for planktonic
Planktonic forms, in fact, proved to be the most sensitive indicators of the presence of radioactivity in the marine environment.Atoms, Nature, and Man|Neal O. Hines
But in all probability the planktonic larva rests on the sea-bottom little if at all before metamorphosing.A Guide to the Study of Fishes, Volume 1 (of 2)|David Starr Jordan
British Dictionary definitions for planktonic
/ (ˈplæŋktən) /
the organisms inhabiting the surface layer of a sea or lake, consisting of small drifting plants and animals, such as diatomsCompare nekton
Derived Formsplanktonic (plæŋkˈtɒnɪk), adjective
Word Origin for plankton
C19: via German from Greek planktos wandering, from plazesthai to roam
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
Science definitions for planktonic
[ plăngk′tən ]
Small organisms that float or drift in great numbers in bodies of salt or fresh water. Plankton is a primary food source for many animals, and consists of bacteria, protozoans, certain algae, cnidarians, tiny crustaceans such as copepods, and many other organisms. Compare benthos nekton.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.