[ proh-tuh-nee-muh ]
/ ˌproʊ təˈni mə /

noun, plural pro·to·ne·ma·ta [proh-tuh-nee-muh-tuh] /ˌproʊ təˈni mə tə/. Botany.

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
Related formspro·to·ne·mal, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for protonemata


/ (ˌprəʊtəˈniːmə) /

noun plural -nemata (-ˈniːmətə)

a branched threadlike structure that grows from a moss spore and eventually develops into the moss plant

Derived Formsprotonemal or protonematal (ˌprəʊtəˈniːmətəl, -ˈnɛmətəl), adjective

Word Origin for protonema

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


[ prō′tə-nēmə ]

Plural protonemata (prō′tə-nēmə-tə, -nĕmə-)

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.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.