plural Artenkreise
or Artenkreises
: a group of species that replace one another in geographic sequence, presumably trace ultimately to a common ancestral form, and are equivalent as a group to a subgenus

Word History


German, literally, cycle of species, from arten (plural of art species, kind, type, nature, from Middle High German) + kreis cycle, circle, from Old High German kreiz; akin to Middle Low German kreit, krēt circle, enclosed dueling space, Old High German krizzōn to scratch in (as letters), krazzōn to scratch

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Dictionary Entries Near Artenkreis

Cite this Entry

“Artenkreis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!