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variant spelling of archean


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ar·​chae·​an är-ˈkē-ən How to pronounce archaean (audio)
plural archaeans
: any of the microorganisms comprising the archaea
In earlier work on the mine ecosystem, these archaeans had gone undetected.Henry Nicholls
archaean adjective
archaean thermophiles
archaean species

Examples of Archaean in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Pyrodictium is an archaean that lives in scalding-hot waters off Sicily, near the island of Vulcano, and that uses the reaction between sulphur and hydrogen for energy. Tim Flannery, The New York Review of Books, 17 Nov. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Archaean.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1996, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Archaean was in 1996

Dictionary Entries Near Archaean

Cite this Entry

“Archaean.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

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