Word of the Day

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

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.
Quotes:
But man contemplates the universe as an animalcule would an elephant.
-- Edward Buwler-Lytton, Zanoni, 1842
He has absolutely no idea of the prodigious personage that I am, and of the microscopic animalcule that he is in comparison.
-- Marcel Proust, translated by D. J. Enright, In Search of Lost Time, 1989, originally published in 1927
Origin:
Animalcule comes directly from the Neo-Latin word animalculum meaning "a small animal."
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