Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[spawr-uh-zoh-uh n, spohr-] /ˌspɔr əˈzoʊ ən, ˌspoʊr-/
any parasitic spore-forming protozoan of the phylum (or class) Sporozoa, several species of which, as plasmodia, cause malaria.
Also, sporozoal. belonging or pertaining to the Sporozoa.
1885-90; Sporozo(a) + -an Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for sporozoan


/ˌspɔːrəˈzəʊən; ˌspɒ-/
any parasitic protozoan of the phylum Apicomplexa (or Sporozoa), characterized by a complex life cycle, part of which is passed in the cells of the host, and the production of asexual spores: includes the malaria parasite See plasmodium (sense 2)
of or relating to sporozoans
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
Cite This Source
sporozoan in Medicine

sporozoan spo·ro·zo·an (spôr'ə-zō'ən) or spo·o·zo·on (-ŏn', -ən)
An organism of the class Sporozoa.

spo'ro·zo'an adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
sporozoan in Science
Any of numerous parasitic protozoans now classified as apicomplexans.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for sporozoan


any protozoan of the (typically) spore-producing phylum Apicomplexa, which is called by some authorities Sporozoa. All apicomplexans are parasitic and lack contractile vacuoles and locomotor processes. Apicomplexans live within the body cavities or the cells of almost every kind of animal, including other apicomplexans. Some genera are pathogenic: Plasmodium causes malaria, and Eimeria and Isospora cause coccidiosis. Apicomplexans feed by absorbing either dissolved food ingested by the host (saprozoic nutrition) or the host's cytoplasm and body fluids. Respiration and excretion occur by simple diffusion through the cell membrane. In the life cycle, sexual and asexual generations may alternate. Sexual reproduction may immediately precede spore formation. Asexual reproduction is by binary or multiple fission (schizogony).

Learn more about apicomplexan with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for sporozoan

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for sporozoan

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for sporozoan