[ vol-voks ]
/ ˈvɒl vɒks /


any colonial, freshwater green algae of the genus Volvox, forming a hollow, greenish sphere of flagellated cells.

Nearby words

  1. volutin,
  2. volution,
  3. volva,
  4. volvelle,
  5. volvent,
  6. volvulosis,
  7. volvulus,
  8. volzhsky,
  9. vom,
  10. vomer

Origin of volvox

1790–1800; < New Latin, equivalent to Latin volv(ere) to turn, roll + -ōx (as in ferōx) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for volvox

British Dictionary definitions for volvox


/ (ˈvɒlvɒks) /


any freshwater flagellate protozoan of the genus Volvox, occurring in colonies in the form of hollow multicellular spheres

Word Origin for volvox

C18: from New Latin, from Latin volvere to roll

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 volvox



1798, from Latin volvere "to roll," from PIE root *wel- "to turn, revolve," with derivatives referring to curved, enclosing objects (cf. Sanskrit valate "turns round," ulvam "womb, vulva;" Lithuanian valtis "twine, net," apvalus "round;" Old Church Slavonic valiti "roll, welter," vluna "wave;" Greek eluo "wind, wrap," helix "spiral object," eilein "to turn, squeeze;" Gothic walwjan "to roll;" Old English wealwian "roll," weoloc "whelk, spiral-shelled mollusk;" Old High German walzan "to roll, waltz;" Old Irish fulumain "rolling;" Welsh olwyn "wheel").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper