[ proh-tuh-nee-muh ]

noun,plural pro·to·ne·ma·ta [proh-tuh-nee-muh-tuh]. /ˌproʊ təˈni mə tə/. Botany.
  1. a primary, usually filamentous structure produced by the germination of the spore in mosses and certain related plants, and from which the leafy plant which bears the sexual organs arises as a lateral or terminal shoot.

Origin of protonema

1855–60; <New Latin <Greek prōto-proto- + nêma thread

Other words from protonema

  • pro·to·ne·mal, adjective

Words Nearby protonema Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use protonema in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for protonema


/ (ˌprəʊtəˈniːmə) /

nounplural -nemata (-ˈniːmətə)
  1. a branched threadlike structure that grows from a moss spore and eventually develops into the moss plant

Origin of protonema

C19: from New Latin, from proto- + Greek nema thread

Derived forms of protonema

  • protonemal or protonematal (ˌprəʊtəˈniːmətəl, -ˈnɛmətəl), adjective

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 protonema


[ prō′tə-nē ]

Plural protonemata (prō′tə-nēmə-tə, -nĕmə-)
  1. The green filamentous or flat, thallus-like structure that grows from the germinated spores of liverworts and mosses and eventually gives rise to a mature gametophyte.

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