[ spee-sheez, -seez ]
/ ˈspi ʃiz, -siz /

noun, plural spe·cies.


Horticulture. pertaining to a plant that is a representative member of a species, one that is not a hybrid or variety: a species rose; a species gladiolus.

Nearby words

  1. specialty,
  2. speciate,
  3. speciation,
  4. specie,
  5. specie point,
  6. species-specific,
  7. species-specific antigen,
  8. speciesism,
  9. specif.,
  10. specifiable

Origin of species

1545–55; < Latin speciēs appearance, form, sort, kind, equivalent to spec(ere) to look, regard + -iēs abstract noun suffix

Related formssu·per·spe·cies, noun, plural su·per·spe·cies.un·der·spe·cies, noun, plural un·der·spe·cies.

Can be confusedgenus speciesspecie species specious


[ spee-shee, -see ]
/ ˈspi ʃi, -si /


coined money; coin.

Origin of specie

1545–55; < Latin (in) speciē (in) kind; see species

Can be confusedspecie species specious


[ spee-shee, -see ]
/ ˈspi ʃi, -si /

noun Nonstandard.

Origin of specie

by back formation, construing species as plural noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for species

British Dictionary definitions for species


/ (ˈspiːʃiːz, Latin ˈspiːʃɪˌiːz) /

noun plural -cies

Word Origin for species

C16: from Latin: appearance, from specere to look


/ (ˈspiːʃiː) /


coin money, as distinguished from bullion or paper money
in specie
  1. (of money) in coin
  2. in kind
  3. lawin the actual form specified

Word Origin for specie

C16: from the Latin phrase in speciē in kind

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 species
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for species


[ spēshēz, -sēz ]

n. pl. species

A fundamental category of taxonomic classification, ranking below a genus or subgenus and consisting of related organisms capable of interbreeding.
An organism belonging to such a category, represented in binomial nomenclature by an uncapitalized Latin adjective or noun following a capitalized genus name, as in the bacterium Escherichia coli.
A class of pharmaceutical preparations consisting of a mixture of dried plants in sufficiently fine division to be used in making boiled extracts or infusions.
A specific type of atomic nucleus, atom, ion, or molecule.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for species


[ spēshēz, spēsēz ]

A group of organisms having many characteristics in common and ranking below a genus. Organisms that reproduce sexually and belong to the same species interbreed and produce fertile offspring. Species names are usually written lower case and in italics, as rex in Tyrannosaurus rex. See Table at taxonomy.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for species


[ (spee-sheez, spee-seez) ]

A group of closely related and interbreeding living things; the smallest standard unit of biological classification. Species can be divided into varieties, races, breeds, or subspecies. Red pines, sugar maples, cats, dogs, chimpanzees, and people are species; Siamese cats and beagles are varieties, not species. (See Linnean classification.)


The term can be used to refer to any group of related things: “This species of novel has become quite popular in recent years.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with species


see endangered species.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.