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)

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 Previous research has found fungi can send electrical impulses underground through long, thread-like structures called hyphae, which expand to form a network of mycelium, reports Linda Geddes for the Guardian. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Apr. 2022 His interest in plants led him to study soil composition, mycelium, and mushrooms. Olivia Goldhill, STAT, 10 Mar. 2022 Adidas also recently announced its plan to release a sneaker made partially from mycelium — a fiber found in mushrooms. Outside Online, 23 Apr. 2021 The effect is to illustrate the interconnectedness of mycelium — and of all living things. Washington Post, 3 Mar. 2022 Stay tuned because the mycelium chicken hasn’t officially launched. Los Angeles Times, 13 Jan. 2022 The extra something is a comet from outer space, releasing its seeds, plugging into the fungoid mycelium—which, from an alien perspective, is the largest and most evolutionarily successful creature on the planet. Tom Shippey, WSJ, 11 Feb. 2022 That mindset eventually is what helped open his eyes to the possibilities of what mycelium could provide as a food source. Chloe Sorvino, Forbes, 6 July 2021 At one mycelium party, bass thumped across a polo field illuminated by ten thousand candles and towering neon mushroom puppets with red-rimmed eyes. Sheila Yasmin Marikar, The New Yorker, 17 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of mycelium was in 1836

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mycelium

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Last Updated

26 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Mycelium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mycelium. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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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

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