des·​mid | \ ˈdez-məd How to pronounce desmid (audio) \

Definition of desmid

: any of numerous unicellular or colonial green algae (order Zygnematales, especially family Desmidiaceae)

Illustration of desmid

Illustration of desmid

First Known Use of desmid

1862, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for desmid

from the stem of New Latin Desmidiaceae, family name (as if ending in -id entry 1), from Desmidium, genus name (from Greek desmós "something that ties or attaches, (in plural) bonds, chain" —from déō, deîn "to bind, tie" + -smos, noun suffix— + -idion, diminutive suffix) + -aceae -aceae — more at diadem

Note: The taxonomic literature credits the description of the genus Desmidium to the English botanist John Ralfs (1807-90), in The British Desmidieæ (London, 1848), p. 61. Ralfs took the name Desmidium swartzii from an earlier description by the Swedish clergyman and botanist Carl Adolph Agardh (1785-1859), in Systema algarum (Lund, 1824), p. 9.

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The first known use of desmid was in 1862

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Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Desmid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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