• synonyms


[zoh-uh-plangk-tuh n]
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  1. the aggregate of animal or animallike organisms in plankton, as protozoans.
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Compare phytoplankton.

Origin of zooplankton

First recorded in 1900–05; zoo- + plankton
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for zooplankton


  1. the animal constituent of plankton, which consists mainly of small crustaceans and fish larvaeCompare phytoplankton
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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 zooplankton


1901, from comb. form of Greek zoion "animal" (see zoo) + plankton.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

zooplankton in Science


  1. Plankton that consists of tiny animals, such as rotifers, copepods, and krill, and of microorganisms once classified as animals, such as dinoflagellates and other protozoans.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.