homunculus

noun
ho·​mun·​cu·​lus | \ hō-ˈməŋ-kyə-ləs How to pronounce homunculus (audio) \
plural homunculi\ hō-​ˈməŋ-​kyə-​ˌlī How to pronounce homunculi (audio) , -​ˌlē \

Definition of homunculus

1 : a little man : manikin
2 : a miniature adult that in the theory of preformation is held to inhabit the germ cell and to produce a mature individual merely by an increase in size

Examples of homunculus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The book culminates with Christian’s involvement in complex laboratory preparations, including the creation of a bird that is then killed; its ashes are used to make two homunculi, which, in the laboratory, grow to become the bridal couple. Peter Bebergal, The New Yorker, "Reimagining a Shadowy Medieval Brotherhood That Probably Didn’t Exist," 26 Oct. 2016

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

First Known Use of homunculus

1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for homunculus

Latin, diminutive of homin-, homo human being — more at homage

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Dictionary Entries near homunculus

Homs

homuncio

homuncular

homunculus

homy

Homyel'

hon

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Time Traveler for homunculus

The first known use of homunculus was in 1656

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More Definitions for homunculus

homunculus

noun
ho·​mun·​cu·​lus | \ hō-ˈməŋ-kyə-ləs How to pronounce homunculus (audio) \
plural homunculi\ -​ˌlī How to pronounce homunculi (audio) , -​ˌlē How to pronounce homunculi (audio) \

Medical Definition of homunculus

: a miniature adult that in the theory of preformation was held to inhabit the germ cell and to produce a mature individual merely by an increase in size

More from Merriam-Webster on homunculus

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with homunculus

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about homunculus

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