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[tak-son] /ˈtæk sɒn/
noun, plural taxa
[tak-suh] /ˈtæk sə/ (Show IPA)
a taxonomic category, as a species or genus.
1945-50; < Greek táx(is) taxis1 + -on neuter noun ending; see -on1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for taxon
  • Its generally preferable not to release the name of a taxon until it is published.
  • Within a taxon, there can be quite dramatic differences in brain volumes, suggesting that this is an evolutionarily labile trait.
British Dictionary definitions for taxon


noun (pl) taxa (ˈtæksə)
(biology) any taxonomic group or rank
Word Origin
C20: back formation from taxonomy
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 taxon

1929, from German (1926), shortened from taxonomie (see taxonomy).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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taxon in Medicine

taxon tax·on (tāk'sŏn')
n. pl. tax·a (tāk'sə)
A taxonomic category or group, such as a phylum, order, family, genus, or species.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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taxon in Science
Plural taxa
A taxonomic category or group, such as a phylum, order, family, genus, or species.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for taxon


any unit used in the science of biological classification, or taxonomy. Taxa are arranged in a hierarchy from kingdom to subspecies, a given taxon ordinarily including several taxa of lower rank. In the classification of protists, plants, and animals, certain taxonomic categories are universally recognized; in descending order, these are kingdom, phylum (in plants, division), class, order, family, genus, species, and subspecies, or race. Rules for naming the various taxa are the province of biological nomenclature (q.v.).

Learn more about taxa with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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