ben·​thos | \ ˈben-ˌthäs How to pronounce benthos (audio) \

Definition of benthos

: organisms that live on or in the bottom of a body of water

Examples of benthos in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Researchers believed that the remains of animals may have accounted for the benthos' carbon needs. Eric Cheung, CNN, "New species of bone-eating worm discovered eating alligator carcass deep under Gulf of Mexico," 15 Jan. 2020

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

First Known Use of benthos

1891, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for benthos

New Latin, from Greek, depth, deep sea; akin to Greek bathys deep

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about benthos

Time Traveler for benthos

Time Traveler

The first known use of benthos was in 1891

See more words from the same year

Statistics for benthos

Cite this Entry

“Benthos.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

More from Merriam-Webster on benthos Encyclopedia article about benthos

Comments on benthos

What made you want to look up benthos? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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