Ci·​o·​na | \ ˈsīənə \

Definition of Ciona

: a genus (coextensive with the family Cionidae) comprising relatively large simple ascidians and including a single cosmopolitan species (C. intestinalis)

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!

Other Words from Ciona

cionid \ ˈsīənə̇d , -​ˌnid \ adjective or noun

History and Etymology for Ciona

borrowed from New Latin, perhaps derivative from the base of Greek kīon-, kī́ōn “pillar, uvula”

Note: Genus name introduced by the British clergyman and naturalist John Fleming (1785-1857) in The Philosophy of Zoology, or a General View of the Structure, Functions, and Classification of Animals, vol. 2 (Edinburgh, 1822), p. 512 (his Ciona intestinalis replacing Linnaeus’ Ascidia intestinalis). As with many of the dozens of taxonomic names introduced by Fleming, there is no suggestion of an etymology. One is left to guess as to whether the tunicate’s form suggested a pillar or uvula, or whether Fleming had a completely different classical (or non-classical) base in mind.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About Ciona

Dictionary Entries Near Ciona




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for Ciona

Cite this Entry

“Ciona.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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