pe·​riph·​y·​ton | \ pə-ˈri-fə-ˌtän How to pronounce periphyton (audio) \

Definition of periphyton

: organisms (such as some algae) that live attached to underwater surfaces

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Other Words from periphyton

periphytic \ ˌper-​ə-​ˈfi-​tik How to pronounce periphyton (audio) \ adjective

Examples of periphyton in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Lack of freshwater has caused periphyton, which forms the basis of the marsh food chain, to collapse in some places. Jenny Staletovich, miamiherald, 5 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'periphyton.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of periphyton

1931, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for periphyton

borrowed from Russian perifitón, probably borrowed from Greek períphyton, neuter of períphytos, verbal adjective of periphýesthai "to grow all around," from peri- peri- + phýesthai "to grow, spring up," middle voice of phýein "to bring forth, produce" (formed in Russian by analogy with planktón plankton) — more at be

Note: The Russian term was introduced by the hydrobiologist Arvid Liborʼevič Bening (1890-1943, of Volga and Bessarabian German ancestry) in K izučeniju pridonnoj žizni reki Volgi, Monografija No. 1 Volžckoj Biologičeskoj Stancii (Saratov, 1924).

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The first known use of periphyton was in 1931

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Cite this Entry

“Periphyton.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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