noun, plural spe·cies.
- one of the classes of things included with other classes in a genus.
- the set of things within one of these classes.
- the external form or appearance of the bread or the wine in the Eucharist.
- either of the Eucharistic elements.
Origin of species
noun plural -cies
- any of the taxonomic groups into which a genus is divided, the members of which are capable of interbreeding: often containing subspecies, varieties, or races. A species is designated in italics by the genus name followed by the specific name, for example Felis domesticus (the domestic cat)Abbreviation: sp
- the animals of such a group
- any group of related animals or plants not necessarily of this taxonomic rank
Word Origin for species
1550s, a classification in logic, from Latin species "kind, sort," originally "appearance, sight, a seeing," related to specere "to look at, to see, behold," from PIE *spek- (see scope (n.1)). Biological sense is from c.1600. Endangered species first attested 1964.
n. pl. species
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.)
see endangered species.