- a male reproductive cell; spermatozoon.
Origin of sperm1
Origin of sperm2
- variant of spermo- before a vowel: spermine.
- a combining form with the meaning “one having seeds” of the kind specified by the initial element: gymnosperm.
Origin of -sperm
Examples from the Web for sperm
Sperm banks also take a trivializing attitude toward donors.Today’s Sperm Donor Isn’t a Broke 20-Something
September 20, 2014
John Meeker, et al. “Semen Quality and Sperm DNA Damage in Relation to Urinary Bisphenol A Among Men From an Infertility Clinic.”Can Food Make You Infertile? Foods to Eat and Avoid
December 9, 2011
Sperm banks around the globe are facing a crippling shortage of inventory.The Other Banking Crisis
December 19, 2008
Sperm washing, along with surrogates and baby showers, have all but replaced disco dates.When Did 'Sperm Washing' Replace Disco Dates?
October 22, 2008
Respectively, they represent attacks on the Sperm and Right Whale.
It is as though the forehead of the Sperm Whale were paved with horses' hoofs.
Physiognomically regarded, the Sperm Whale is an anomalous creature.
But the Sperm Whale only breathes about one seventh or Sunday of his time.
Sure it is, nevertheless, that the Sperm Whale has no proper olfactories.
- another name for semen
- a male reproductive cell; male gamete
- (in botany) a seedgymnosperm
Word Origin and History for sperm
late 14c., "male seminal fluid," probably from Old French esperme, from Late Latin sperma "seed, semen," from Greek sperma "seed," from speirein "to sow, scatter," from PIE *sper- "to strew" (see sprout (v.)). Sperm bank is attested from 1963.
- A male gamete or reproductive cell; a spermatozoon.
- Variant ofspermi-
- The smaller, usually motile male reproductive cell of most organisms that reproduce sexually. Sperm cells are haploid (they have half the number of chromosomes as the other cells in the organism's body). Sperm often have at least one flagellum. During fertilization, the nucleus of a sperm fuses with the nucleus of the much larger egg cell (the female reproductive cell) to form a new organism. In male animals, sperm are normally produced by the testes in extremely large numbers in order to increase the chances of fertilizing an egg. Motile sperm cells produced by some multicellular protist groups (such as the algae), the bryophyte plants, and the seedless vascular plants, require water to swim to the egg cell. In gymnosperms and angiosperms, sperm do not need water for mobility but are carried to the female reproductive organs in the pollen grain. In the cycads and the gingko (both gymnosperms), the sperm are motile and propel themselves down the pollen tube to reach the egg cell. In the conifers and angiosperms, the sperm are not themselves motile but are conveyed to the ovule by the growing pollen tube.
A Closer Look: The human sperm cell is divided into a head that contains the nucleus, a mid-section that contains mitochondria to provide energy for the sperm, and a flagellum that allows the sperm to move. When fertilization occurs, the nucleus and other contents from the sperm cells are drawn into the cytoplasm of the egg, but the mitochondria in the sperm are destroyed and do not survive in the zygote. Since mitochondria contain their own DNA (thought to be a relic from an existence as separate symbiotic organisms), all of the mitochrondrial DNA in humans is thus inherited from the female. The semen produced by the male reproductive tract as a medium for sperm typically contains over 100 million sperm cells, all of which have but one purpose: to fertilize the single available egg.