noc·​ti·​lu·​ca | \ ˌnäktəˈlükə \

Definition of noctiluca

1 plural -s, obsolete : phosphor sense 2
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
3 plural noctilucas\ -​kəz \ or noctilucae\ -​üˌsē \ : any organism of the genus Noctiluca

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History and Etymology for noctiluca

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

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Cite this Entry

“Noctiluca.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2020.

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