diatom

noun
di·​a·​tom | \ˈdī-ə-ˌtäm \

Definition of diatom 

: any of a class (Bacillariophyceae) of minute planktonic unicellular or colonial algae with silicified skeletons that form diatomaceous earth

Examples of diatom in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth Diatomaceous Earth, or DE, is a white crumbly powder consisting of the fossilized remains of diatoms, a class of algae. Rebecca Straus, Good Housekeeping, "5 Ways to Get Rid of Silverfish," 25 July 2018 Carbon-dating of the mud showed that some of those diatoms had been deposited in what is now Lake Whillans as recently as 10,000 years ago—which was startling enough. National Geographic, "The West Antarctic Ice Sheet Seems to Be Good at Collapsing," 13 June 2018 Get Some Diatomaceous Earth Diatomaceous Earth, or DE, is a white crumbly powder consisting of the fossilized remains of diatoms, a class of algae. Rebecca Straus, Good Housekeeping, "6 Ways To Get Rid Of Silverfish," 27 July 2016 For instance, some of the evidence for the climate hypothesis comes from pollen and diatoms from the bottom of nearby Lake Ossa. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "African rainforests vanished for 600 years, then bounced back—why?," 27 Feb. 2018 Diatoms, on the other hand — another type of phytoplankton found in the Black Sea — can make the water look somewhat darker. Elizabeth Howell Space.com Contributor, Fox News, "Tiny organisms turn the Black Sea turquoise in amazing NASA picture," 15 June 2017 Algae diatoms need nitrate for biochemical processes, including the production of domoic acid. Tommy Wright, The Mercury News, "Cause of 2015 toxic algal bloom in Monterey Bay identified," 7 June 2017 The lake’s troubles may have begun with a diatom mine that operated from the late 1960s until 2004. National Geographic, "One of the World's Most Unusual Plants Is Disappearing," 8 Sep. 2016 The fluffy green globes—supersize diatoms as large as a head of cabbage—are one of the planet’s most unusual plants. National Geographic, "One of the World's Most Unusual Plants Is Disappearing," 8 Sep. 2016

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

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First Known Use of diatom

1845, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for diatom

ultimately from Greek diatomos cut in half, from diatemnein to cut through, from dia- + temnein to cut — more at tome

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Last Updated

17 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for diatom

The first known use of diatom was in 1845

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More Definitions for diatom

diatom

noun
di·​a·​tom | \ˈdī-ə-ˌtäm \

Medical Definition of diatom 

: any of a class (Bacillariophyceae) of minute planktonic unicellular or colonial algae with silicified skeletons that form diatomite

More from Merriam-Webster on diatom

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with diatom

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about diatom

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