• synonyms


[ vol-voks ]
/ ˈvɒl vɒks /


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

Nearby words

volutin, volution, volva, volvelle, volvent, volvox, volvulosis, volvulus, volzhsky, vom, 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