archaea

plural noun ar·chaea \ är-ˈkē-ə \

Definition of archaea

: 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


Medical Dictionary

archaea

noun plural ar·chaea \ är-ˈkē-ə \

medical Definition of archaea

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 TangleyU.S. News & World Report8 Nov. 1999
2 : microorganisms of the domain Archaea
  • Many of the archaea are thermophilic.
  • —David W. WolfeWilson QuarterlySpring 2001

archaeal

play \är-ˈkē-əl\ 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. JarrellBioscience1 July 1999

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