plural -s, obsolete : phosphor sense 2
capitalized [New Latin, from Latin, moon] : a genus of marine plantlike flagellates (order Dinoflagellata) that are unusually large, complex in structure, and bioluminescent and that when present in numbers are responsible for much of the phosphorescence of the sea
plural noctilucas
or noctilucae
: any organism of the genus Noctiluca

Word History


New Latin, from Latin, moon, lantern, from nocti- noct- + -luca, from lucēre to shine (noun)

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Dictionary Entries Near noctiluca

Cite this Entry

“Noctiluca.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2024.

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