noun \ə-ˈmē-bə\

: a tiny living thing that consists of a single cell

plural amoe·bas or amoe·bae\-(ˌ)bē\

Full Definition of AMOEBA

:  any of a large genus (Amoeba) of naked rhizopod protozoans with lobed and never anastomosing pseudopodia, without permanent organelles or supporting structures, and of wide distribution in fresh and salt water and moist terrestrial environments; broadly :  a naked rhizopod or other amoeboid protozoan
amoe·bic also amebic \-bik\ adjective

Variants of AMOEBA

amoe·ba also ame·ba \ə-ˈmē-bə\

Illustration of AMOEBA

Origin of AMOEBA

New Latin, genus name, from Greek amoibē change, from ameibein to change — more at migrate
First Known Use: 1855

Rhymes with AMOEBA


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Amoeba (magnified).—Russ Kinne/Photo Researchers

One-celled protozoan that can form temporary extensions of cytoplasm (pseudopodia) in order to move about. Some amoebas are found on the bottom of freshwater streams and ponds. Others live in the human digestive system; one type causes amebic dysentery in humans. Each amoeba contains a small mass of jellylike cytoplasm with vacuoles and a nucleus. Food is taken in and material is excreted at any point on the cell surface. Amoebas are used extensively in cell research for determining the relative functions and interactions of the nucleus and the cytoplasm.


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