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[plaz-moh-dee-uh m]
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noun, plural plas·mo·di·a [plaz-moh-dee-uh] /plæzˈmoʊ di ə/.
  1. Biology. an ameboid, multinucleate mass or sheet of cytoplasm characteristic of some stages of organisms, as of myxomycetes or slime molds.
  2. any parasitic protozoan of the genus Plasmodium, causing malaria in humans.
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Origin of plasmodium

From New Latin, dating back to 1870–75; see origin at plasm-, -ode1, -ium
Related formsplas·mo·di·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for plasmodium

cell, flagellate, organism, plasmodium, ameba, euglena, paramecium, ciliate, amoeba, sporozoan, stentor

Examples from the Web for plasmodium

Historical Examples of plasmodium

  • One parasitic protozoan like an amœba is called Plasmodium malari.

    A Civic Biology

    George William Hunter

  • There we know that it acts by killing the plasmodium and is a real specific.


    James J. Walsh

  • The plasmodium in this case chances to be red, scarlet, etc.

    The North American Slime-Moulds

    Thomas H. (Thomas Huston) MacBride

  • The plasmodium just before the formation of the fruit is scarlet.

    The North American Slime-Moulds

    Thomas H. (Thomas Huston) MacBride

  • Plasmodium at first white, then pink, 'ashes of roses,' etc.

    The North American Slime-Moulds

    Thomas H. (Thomas Huston) MacBride

British Dictionary definitions for plasmodium


noun plural -dia (-dɪə)
  1. an amoeboid mass of protoplasm, containing many nuclei: a stage in the life cycle of certain organisms, esp the nonreproductive stage of the slime moulds
  2. any parasitic sporozoan protozoan of the genus Plasmodium, such as P. falciparum and P. vivax, which cause malaria
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Derived Formsplasmodial, adjective

Word Origin for plasmodium

C19: New Latin; see plasma, -ode 1
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

Word Origin and History for plasmodium


1871, Modern Latin, coined 1863 in Germany from plasma + -odium, from Greek -odes "like" (see -oid).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

plasmodium in Medicine


n. pl. plas•mo•di•a (-dē-ə)
  1. A multinucleate mass of cytoplasm formed by the aggregation of a number of amoeboid cells, as that characteristic of the vegetative phase of the slime molds.
  2. A protozoan of the genus Plasmodium, which includes the parasites that cause malaria.
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  1. A genus of protozoans that are parasites of the red blood cells of vertebrates and include the causative agents of malaria.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

plasmodium in Science


Plural plasmodia
  1. A mass of protoplasm having many cell nuclei but not divided into separate cells. It is formed by the combination of many amoeba-like cells and is characteristic of the active, feeding phase of certain slime molds.
  2. Any of various single-celled organisms (called protozoans) that exist as parasites in vertebrate animals, one of which causes malaria.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.