plas·​mo·​di·​um | \ plaz-ˈmō-dē-əm \
plural plasmodia\ plaz-​ˈmō-​dē-​ə \

Definition of plasmodium

1a : a motile multinucleate mass of protoplasm resulting from fusion of uninucleate amoeboid cells also : an organism (such as a stage of a slime mold) that consists of such a structure
2 : a sporozoan parasite (genus Plasmodium) that is the causative agent of malaria

Examples of plasmodium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

When food is nearby, the plasmodium forms a network of slender tubules that branch out in search of it, eventually finding the optimal path. Eoin O'carroll, The Christian Science Monitor, "What slime molds can teach us about thinking," 12 Apr. 2018 And there’s no limit to the number of individuals that can join the collective, called a plasmodium. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Trump doesn’t have a science adviser. This slime mold is available.," 5 Apr. 2018

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

First Known Use of plasmodium

1875, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for plasmodium

New Latin, from plasm- + -odium thing resembling, from Greek -ōdēs like

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The first known use of plasmodium was in 1875

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plas·​mo·​di·​um | \ plaz-ˈmōd-ē-əm \

Medical Definition of plasmodium

1 plural -dia\ -​dē-​ə \

a : a motile multinucleate mass of protoplasm resulting from fusion of uninucleate ameboid cells also : an organism (as a stage of a slime mold) that consists of such a structure
2a capitalized : the type genus of the family Plasmodiidae of sporozoans that includes all the malaria parasites affecting humans
b plural -dia : any individual malaria parasite

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