mycelium

noun
my·​ce·​li·​um | \ mī-ˈsē-lē-əm How to pronounce mycelium (audio) \
plural mycelia\ mī-​ˈsē-​lē-​ə How to pronounce mycelium (audio) \

Definition of mycelium

: the mass of interwoven filamentous hyphae that forms especially the vegetative portion of the thallus of a fungus and is often submerged in another body (as of soil or organic matter or the tissues of a host) also : a similar mass of filaments formed by some bacteria (such as streptomyces)

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Other Words from mycelium

mycelial \ mī-​ˈsē-​lē-​əl How to pronounce mycelium (audio) \ adjective

Examples of mycelium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The German sportswear giant just unveiled a version of its iconic Stan Smith trainers made from mycelium leather. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, "Adidas Is Working on a Stan Smith Sneaker Made From Mushroom Leather," 19 Apr. 2021 Where the mycelium’s texture and mouthfeel are lacking and require a little boost for the imagination, modern flavor science comes in to offer the waft expected when cooking fatty bacon. Chloe Sorvino, Forbes, "Maker Of Mushroom-Sourced Bacon Raises $40 Million To Reach Grocers At Scale," 15 Apr. 2021 To make it, the company grows mycelium—the network of filaments in fungus—in a way that emulates traditional leather. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, "Why Hermès, Famed for Its Leather, Is Rolling Out a Vegan Bag Made From Mushrooms," 15 Mar. 2021 With mycelium fibers perfected over the last 10 years, Atlast can replicate the texture and mouthfeel of meat to a remarkable degree. John Cumbers, Forbes, "The Meatless Mafia: Four Companies Revolutionizing The Future Of Food," 1 Mar. 2021 In the late 1990s, the biologist Suzanne Simard published a paper detailing how trees in a forest can exchange nutrients by way of underground mycelium. New York Times, "The Mushrooms Will Survive Us," 7 Feb. 2021 That passion may also have to do with new applications of mycelium, and novel research into its seeming world-saving potential. New York Times, "The Mushrooms Will Survive Us," 7 Feb. 2021 All of her pieces include superimposed images of mycelium, or the part of a fungus that forms complex filament structures. Natachi Onwuamaegbu, BostonGlobe.com, "Postering the city with literature and Black feminism," 26 Jan. 2021 The hyphae combine to create mycelium, which then sprout the fruiting mushrooms. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, "Watch an Amazing Time-Lapse of Growing Mushrooms," 2 Nov. 2020

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

1836, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mycelium

borrowed from New Latin, from myc- (from base of Greek mykēt-, mýkēs "mushroom, fungus") + -el- (of unknown origin) + -ium -ium — more at myco-

Note: Term introduced by the Austrian botanist and mycologist Leopold Trattinnick (1764-1849) in Fungi Austriaci, ad specimina viva cera expressi descriptiones ac historiam naturalem completam addidit Leopoldus Trattinnick/Oesterreichs Schwämme, nach lebendigen Originalen in Wachs gearbeitet mit Beschreibungen und einer ausführlichen Naturgeschichte, 1. Lieferung (Vienna, 1804). Trattinnick, who uses the word throughout the work, gives no indication of its derivation. His translation in the parallel vernacular columns is Schwammgewächs, literally, "mushroom growth." The reading of -el- as Greek hêlos "nail head, wart, callus," apparently first proposed in the Century Dictionary and copied by many dictionaries since, is improbable and in any case purely speculative. Somewhat more probable is the suggestion in the Oxford English Dictionary that the interposed -l- is after epithelium.

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Time Traveler for mycelium

Time Traveler

The first known use of mycelium was in 1836

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Last Updated

26 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mycelium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mycelium. Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for mycelium

mycelium

noun
my·​ce·​li·​um | \ mī-ˈsē-lē-əm How to pronounce mycelium (audio) \
plural mycelia\ -​lē-​ə How to pronounce mycelium (audio) \

Medical Definition of mycelium

: the mass of interwoven filamentous hyphae that forms especially the vegetative body of a fungus and is often submerged in another body (as of soil or organic matter or the tissues of a host) also : a similar mass of filaments formed by some bacteria (as of the genus Streptomyces)

More from Merriam-Webster on mycelium

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mycelium

Comments on mycelium

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