archaea

play
plural noun ar·chaea \är-ˈkē-ə\

Definition of archaea

  1. :  microorganisms of a domain (Archaea) including especially methane-producing forms, some red halophilic forms, and others of harsh hot acidic environments (such as hot springs) — compare bacterium, eukaryote

archaeal

play \-əl\ adjective

archaean

play \-ən\ adjective or noun

Origin and Etymology of archaea

New Latin, from Greek archaios


First Known Use: 1990


Medical Dictionary

archaea

play
noun plural ar·chaea \är-ˈkē-ə\

Medical Definition of archaea

  1. 1 capitalized :  a domain of primitive single-celled prokaryotic microorganisms including methane-producing forms and others that thrive in extremely salty or hot, often acidic environments They are largely Archaea, a domain of life first identified 20 years ago …—Charles W. Petit and Laura Tangley, U.S. News & World Report, 8 Nov. 1999

  2. 2:  microorganisms of the domain Archaea Many of the archaea are thermophilic.—David W. Wolfe, Wilson Quarterly, Spring 2001

archaeal

\är-ˈkē-əl\ play adjective Despite the morphological resemblance of archaea to bacterial cells (e.g., lack of a nuclear membrane), many archaeal processes, such as transcription, are much more similar to those of eukaryotes.—Ken F. Jarrell, Bioscience, 1 July 1999

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