desmid

noun

des·​mid ˈdez-məd How to pronounce desmid (audio)
: any of numerous unicellular or colonial green algae (order Zygnematales, especially family Desmidiaceae)

Illustration of desmid

Illustration of desmid

Word History

Etymology

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.

First Known Use

1862, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of desmid was in 1862

Dictionary Entries Near desmid

Cite this Entry

“Desmid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/desmid. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

desmid

noun
des·​mid ˈdez-məd How to pronounce desmid (audio)
: any of numerous single-celled or colonial green algae

More from Merriam-Webster on desmid

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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