Dictionary.com

plankton

[ plangk-tuhn ]
/ ˈplæŋk tən /
Save This Word!

noun
the aggregate of passively floating, drifting, or somewhat motile organisms occurring in a body of water, primarily comprising microscopic algae and protozoa.
QUIZ
ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

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

OTHER WORDS FROM plankton

plank·ton·ic [plangk-ton-ik], /plæŋkˈtɒn ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use plankton in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for plankton

plankton
/ (ˈplæŋktən) /

noun
the organisms inhabiting the surface layer of a sea or lake, consisting of small drifting plants and animals, such as diatomsCompare nekton

Derived forms of plankton

planktonic (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

Scientific definitions for plankton

plankton
[ plăngktən ]

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.
FEEDBACK