Definition of semelparous
: reproducing or breeding only once in a lifetime <semelparous salmon>
Did You Know?
The combining form "-parous" was first used in English by the 17th-century physician and writer Sir Thomas Browne, who wrote about organisms that were "multiparous" ("producing more than one at a birth"), "oviparous" ("producing eggs that develop outside the maternal body"), and "viviparous" ("producing living young instead of eggs from within the body"). The suffix is based on the Latin verb parere, meaning "to give birth to," which is also a relative of the word that gave us "parent." "Semelparous," the youngest offspring of "-parous," was born in 1954. Its other parent is "semel," the Latin word for "once."
Origin of semelparous
Latin semel once (akin to Latin simul at the same time) + English -parous — more at same
First Known Use: 1954
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