paramecium

noun
par·​a·​me·​cium | \ˌper-ə-ˈmē-sh(ē-)əm, -sē-əm, ˌpa-rə-\
plural paramecia\ ˌper-​ə-​ˈmē-​sh(ē-​)ə , -​sē-​ə, ˌpa-​rə-​ \ also parameciums

Definition of paramecium 

: any of a genus (Paramecium) of ciliate chiefly freshwater protozoans that have an elongate body rounded at the anterior end and an oblique funnel-shaped buccal groove bearing the mouth at the extremity

First Known Use of paramecium

1752, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for paramecium

New Latin, from Greek paramēkēs oblong, from para- + mēkos length; akin to Greek makros long — more at meager

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about paramecium

Share paramecium

Statistics for paramecium

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for paramecium

The first known use of paramecium was in 1752

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for paramecium

paramecium

noun
par·​a·​me·​cium | \ˌper-ə-ˈmē-shē-əm, -sē-əm\
plural paramecia\ -​shē-​ə, -​sē-​ə \ also parameciums

Kids Definition of paramecium

: a tiny living thing found in water that is a single cell shaped like a slipper and moves by means of cilia

paramecium

noun
par·​a·​me·​cium | \ˌpar-ə-ˈmē-sh(ē-)əm, -sē-əm \

Medical Definition of paramecium 

1 capitalized : a genus of ciliate protozoans that have an elongate body rounded at the anterior end and an oblique funnel-shaped buccal groove bearing the mouth at the extremity

2 plural paramecia\ -​sh(ē-​)ə, -​sē-​ə \ also parameciums : any ciliate protozoan of the genus Paramecium

More from Merriam-Webster on paramecium

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about paramecium

Comments on paramecium

What made you want to look up paramecium? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

obstinately defiant of authority

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!