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[suhb-spee-sheez, suhb-spee-] /ˈsʌbˌspi ʃiz, sʌbˈspi-/
noun, plural subspecies.
a subdivision of a species, especially a geographical or ecological subdivision.
Origin of subspecies
1690-1700; sub- + species Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for subspecies
  • Environmentalists said it was a menace to a subspecies of red squirrel.
  • Fifteen different primate species and subspecies live there, but some of them are likely to disappear soon.
  • Now the iPod dock, a technological subspecies, has caved to peer pressure and added a streaming-media function of its own.
  • And any subspecies of that creature result in a loss of genetic information to the point that they cannot reproduce.
  • All five remaining tiger subspecies are endangered, and many protection programs are in place.
  • But they are currently considered subspecies of leopards and leopard cats, respectively.
  • The two subspecies of walrus are divided geographically.
  • Leopard cats are considered to have generally stable populations, except for a few subspecies that are close to extinction.
  • Each race or subspecies of honeybee has its own swarming characteristics.
  • The two subspecies differ in color and size of their dorsal fin.
British Dictionary definitions for subspecies


noun (pl) -cies
(biology) a taxonomic group that is a subdivision of a species: usually occurs because of isolation within a species ssp
Derived Forms
subspecific (ˌsʌbspɪˈsɪfɪk) adjective
subspecifically, adverb
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
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Word Origin and History for subspecies

1690s, from sub- + species.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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subspecies in Science
  (sŭb'spē'shēz, -sēz)   
A subdivision of a species of organisms, usually based on geographic distribution. The subspecies name is written in lowercase italics following the species name. For example, Gorilla gorilla gorilla is the western lowland gorilla, and Gorilla gorilla graueri is the eastern lowland gorilla.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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