paramecium

[par-uh-mee-shee-uhm, -shuhm, -see-uhm]
noun, plural paramecia [par-uh-mee-shee-uh, -shuh, -see-uh] .
any ciliated freshwater protozoan of the genus Paramecium, having an oval body and a long, deep oral groove.

Origin:
1745–55; < Neo-Latin < Greek paramḗk(ēs) oblong, oval + Neo-Latin -ium noun suffix; see -ium

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World English Dictionary
paramecium (ˌpærəˈmiːsɪəm)
 
n , pl -cia
any freshwater protozoan of the genus Paramecium, having an oval body covered with cilia and a ventral ciliated groove for feeding: phylum Ciliophora (ciliates)
 
[C18: New Latin, from Greek paramēkēs elongated, from para-1 + mēkos length]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Paramecium
1752, Mod.L. Paramecium, the genus name, coined from Gk. paramekes "oblong, oval," from para- "on one side" + mekos "length," related to makros "long" (see macro-).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

Paramecium Par·a·me·ci·um (pār'ə-mē'shē-əm, -sē-əm)
n.
A genus of freshwater ciliate protozoans, characteristically slipper-shaped and covered with cilia, and commonly used for genetic research and other studies.

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
paramecium   (pār'ə-mē'sē-əm)  Pronunciation Key 
Plural paramecia or parameciums
Any of various freshwater protozoans of the genus Paramecium that are usually oval in shape and that move by means of cilia. Although they consist of a single cell, paramecia are large enough to be visible to the naked eye. Like other ciliates, paramecia contain two nuclei, a macronucleus and a micronucleus. On the cellular surface is a groove that opens into a gullet, into which food particles are absorbed.
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Example sentences
The one-celled paramecium and the multi-celled jellyfish are given their colorful due, as is the while.
Few organisms rank lower in life than the gelatinous, pond-dwelling paramecium.
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