Ciona

noun

Ci·​o·​na
ˈsīənə
: a genus (coextensive with the family Cionidae) comprising relatively large simple ascidians and including a single cosmopolitan species (C. intestinalis)
cionid
ˈsīənə̇d
-ˌnid
adjective or noun

Word History

Etymology

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.

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 Ciona

Cite this Entry

“Ciona.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Ciona. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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