animalcule

animalcule

[an-uh-mal-kyool]
noun
1.
a minute or microscopic animal, nearly or quite invisible to the naked eye, as an infusorian or rotifer.
2.
Archaic. a tiny animal, as a mouse or fly.

Origin:
1590–1600; < Neo-Latin animalculum a small animal. See animal, -cule1

animalcular [an-uh-mal-kyuh-ler] , animalculine [an-uh-mal-kyuh-lin] , animalculous, adjective
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World English Dictionary
animalcule or animalculum (ˌænɪˈmælkjuːl, ˌænɪˈmælkjʊləm)
 
n , pl -cules, -cula
a microscopic animal such as an amoeba or rotifer
 
[C16: from New Latin animalculum a small animal]
 
animalculum or animalculum (ˌænɪˈmælkjuːl, ˌænɪˈmælkjʊləm, -kjʊlə)
 
n
 
[C16: from New Latin animalculum a small animal]
 
ani'malcular or animalculum
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

animalcule
"very small animal," esp. a microscopic one, 1590s, from L.L. animalculum, dim. of L. animal (see animal).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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