haus·​to·​ri·​um hȯ-ˈstȯr-ē-əm How to pronounce haustorium (audio)
plural haustoria hȯ-ˈstȯr-ē-ə How to pronounce haustorium (audio)
: a nutrient-absorbing outgrowth of a fungus or parasitic plant that penetrates the tissues of the host organism

Note: Haustoria arise from the hyphae in fungi and from the roots or stems of parasitic plants (such as dodder and mistletoe).

Examples of haustorium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web All pierce their host plants with a structure called a haustorium, which then steals water and nutrients for the mistletoe. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 21 Dec. 2015

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'haustorium.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, from Latin haurire

First Known Use

1875, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of haustorium was in 1875

Dictionary Entries Near haustorium

Cite this Entry

“Haustorium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition


haus·​to·​ri·​um hȯ-ˈstōr-ē-əm, -ˈstȯr- How to pronounce haustorium (audio)
plural haustoria -ē-ə How to pronounce haustorium (audio)
: a food-absorbing outgrowth of a plant organ (as a hypha or stem)
haustorial adjective

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