plural noun
fo·​ra·​mi·​nif·​era | \fə-ˌra-mə-ˈni-f(ə-)rə; ˌfȯr-ə-mə-ˈni-, ˌfär-\

Definition of foraminifera 

: organisms that are foraminifers

Examples of foraminifera in a Sentence

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On Harbour Island in the Bahamas—one of the most famous beaches pictured here—the pink hue comes from foraminifera, a microscopic organism that actually has a reddish-pink shell, while the sand is a mix of coral, shells, and calcium carbonate. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Most Beautiful Pink Sand Beaches in the World," 16 Aug. 2018 The researchers behind the current study, working on board the US Coast Guard Cutter Healy, analyzed sediments of deep ocean mud, which contain the shells of long-dead marine organisms called foraminifera. Christopher Mooney,, "Scientists may have solved a huge riddle that led to more than 1,000 years of cold on Earth. It doesn’t bode well," 12 July 2018 Tiny fossilized foraminifera species known to have survived the mass extinction also start showing up in the upper part of this layer. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Life returned to crater of Cretaceous asteroid in the blink of an eye," 30 May 2018 The sediment contains the fossilized remains of phytoplankton, zooplankton, and foraminifera, whose shells feature some of the prettiest designs found in nature. Gary Robbins,, "Walter Munk's 100th birthday stirs memories of Scripps golden era," 1 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'foraminifera.' 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 foraminifera

circa 1836, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for foraminifera

New Latin, from Latin foramin-, foramen + -fera, neuter plural of -fer -fer

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Last Updated

26 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for foraminifera

The first known use of foraminifera was circa 1836

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living or existing for a long time

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