amoeba

noun
amoe·ba | \ə-ˈmē-bə \
variants: or less commonly
plural amoebas or amoebae\-(ˌ)bē \

Definition of amoeba 

: any of a large genus (Amoeba) of naked rhizopod protozoans with lobed and never anastomosing pseudopodia, without permanent organelles or supporting structures, and of wide distribution in fresh and salt water and moist terrestrial environments broadly : a naked rhizopod or other amoeboid protozoan

Illustration of amoeba

Illustration of amoeba

amoeba: 1 pseudopodium, 2 nucleus, 3 contractile vacuole, 4 food vacuole

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Other Words from amoeba

amoebic or less commonly amebic \-bik \ adjective

Examples of amoeba in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Tragically, Minnesota has seen two fatalities in children caused from a waterborne amoeba that enters the nose and attacks the brain. Glenn Howatt, chicagotribune.com, "Swimming pools, hot tubs are more likely than lakes to make you sick, studies find," 11 July 2018 These include a species of a brain-eating amoeba that can legally be grown in animal models at only two places in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and UCSD. Bradley J. Fikes, sandiegouniontribune.com, "UCSD steps up fight against tropical parasitical diseases," 4 July 2018 This marks the third time the amoeba has been detected in the water since 2015. CBS News, "Brain-eating amoeba found in Louisiana water district for third time since 2015," 13 June 2018 Thousands - tens of thousands, really - of fingernail-size menhaden hung in there, moving like a giant, glittering amoeba, all facing into the flow and feeding on phytoplankton carried to them on the conveyor belt that was the tidal current. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Bay food chain comes to life with tide change," 14 Apr. 2018 Tragically, Minnesota has seen two fatalities in children caused from a waterborne amoeba that enters the nose and attacks the brain. Glenn Howatt, chicagotribune.com, "Swimming pools, hot tubs are more likely than lakes to make you sick, studies find," 11 July 2018 Tragically, Minnesota has seen two fatalities in children caused from a waterborne amoeba that enters the nose and attacks the brain. Glenn Howatt, chicagotribune.com, "Swimming pools, hot tubs are more likely than lakes to make you sick, studies find," 11 July 2018 Primary amebic meningoencephalitis, the disease caused by the amoeba, is almost always fatal, according to the CDC. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "What to Know About Brain-Eating Amoebas," 14 June 2018 Long mistaken for fungi, they are now classed as a type of amoeba. Katia Moskvitch, WIRED, "Slime Molds Remember—But Do They Learn?," 14 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'amoeba.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of amoeba

1822, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for amoeba

New Latin, genus name, from Greek amoibē change, from ameibein to change — more at migrate

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Statistics for amoeba

Last Updated

4 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for amoeba

The first known use of amoeba was in 1822

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More Definitions for amoeba

amoeba

noun

English Language Learners Definition of amoeba

: a tiny living thing that consists of a single cell

amoeba

noun
amoe·ba | \ə-ˈmē-bə \
plural amoebas or amoebae\-bē \

Kids Definition of amoeba

: a tiny water animal that is a single cell which flows about and takes in food

amoeba

noun
amoe·ba | \ə-ˈmē-bə\

Medical Definition of amoeba 

1 capitalized : a large genus of naked rhizopod protozoans that have lobed and never anastomosing pseudopodia and are widely distributed in fresh and salt water and moist terrestrial environments

2 also ameba

amoebas plural or amoebae\-(ˌ)bē \ : a protozoan of the genus Amoeba broadly : an amoeboid protozoan (as a naked rhizopod)

Other Words from amoeba

amebic or amoebic \-bik \ adjective

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