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 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 Keep in mind that a mushroom is merely the fruiting body of a fungus that most of the time lives as fine white filaments of mycelium. Ellen Nibali, baltimoresun.com, "Garden Q&A: An unusual but easy houseplant and what to do about mushrooms in the driveway," 31 Dec. 2020 Fungi are made of mycelium, a network of fine white filaments akin to the roots of a plant. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, "Watch an Amazing Time-Lapse of Growing Mushrooms," 2 Nov. 2020 In the mix of plump-gnomes charms and strawberries necklaces, Lalonde’s love for splendid mycelium shows as glass mushrooms with red flat-top heads and necklaces are plopped with green shrooms. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "It’s Time to Follow Bella Hadid and Embrace the Beauty of Mushrooms," 7 Oct. 2020 The Living Cocoon is slow to make, because it must be grown from living mycelium and then dried. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "This 'Living' Mushroom Coffin Will Help Your Body Decompose Faster," 21 Sep. 2020 Consuming a large piece of wood can be the work of years for a mass of fungal fibers, called a mycelium. Beth Botts, chicagotribune.com, "Mushrooms are a healthy sign in your lawn — but can mean trouble on a tree," 18 Oct. 2020 The fabric is derived from mycelium—the threadlike roots that connect vast fungal blooms. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "The world’s fossil fuel giants are missing global targets on climate change," 8 Oct. 2020 According to the mycologist Paul Stamets, based in Olympia, Wash., more than eight miles of mycelium can twist through a single cubic inch of soil. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "Mushrooms, the Last Survivors," 18 Sep. 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

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mycelium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mycelium. Accessed 22 Jan. 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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