protist

noun
pro·​tist | \ˈprō-(ˌ)tist \

Definition of protist 

: any of a diverse taxonomic group and especially a kingdom (Protista synonym Protoctista) of eukaryotic organisms that are unicellular and sometimes colonial or less often multicellular and that typically include the protozoans, most algae, and often some fungi (such as slime molds)

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Other Words from protist

protistan \prō-​ˈti-​stən \ adjective or noun

Examples of protist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Nicole King, a biologist at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, found a revealing window on those ancient transitions: choanoflagellates, a group of living protists that seems on the cusp of making the leap to multicellularity. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "The momentous transition to multicellular life may not have been so hard after all," 28 June 2018 The scientific name is derived from the twisting motion that helps the protist swim. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Meet the top 10 new species of 2018," 23 May 2018 The remainder is distributed among fungi, archaea, protists, animals and viruses, in that order. The Economist, "A planetary census puts humans in their place," 24 May 2018 Researchers discovered the protist living on a brain coral in a tropical aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. Sean Greene, latimes.com, "A rare great ape, a 130-foot-tall tree and an extinct marsupial lion make the Top 10 New Species list for 2018," 23 May 2018 The organism propels itself with a whip-like tail, called a flagella, and uses unusual harpoon-like structures to stun and consume other protists. Sean Greene, latimes.com, "A rare great ape, a 130-foot-tall tree and an extinct marsupial lion make the Top 10 New Species list for 2018," 23 May 2018 The new species doesn't fit with any other known groups of protists. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Meet the top 10 new species of 2018," 23 May 2018 This allowed him to accidentally discover microorganisms like bacteria and protists, beginning in the 1670s. Doug Main, The Atlantic, "Humankind’s Most Important Material," 7 Apr. 2018 The ones that Leidy saw are protists—microbes that have more in common with us than with bacteria, but that still consist of a single, tiny cell. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "The Microbes That Supercharge Termite Guts," 16 Oct. 2017

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

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First Known Use of protist

1873, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for protist

New Latin Protista, from Greek, neuter plural of prōtistos very first, primal, from superlative of prōtos first — more at proto-

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The first known use of protist was in 1873

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More Definitions for protist

protist

noun
pro·​tist | \ˈprō-tist \

Kids Definition of protist

: any member of the kingdom of mostly single-celled organisms (as protozoans and algae) that have a nucleus and sometimes form colonies

protist

noun
pro·​tist | \ˈprōt-əst, ˈprō-ˌtist \

Medical Definition of protist 

: any of a diverse taxonomic group and especially a kingdom (Protista synonym Protoctista) of eukaryotic organisms that are unicellular and sometimes colonial or less often multicellular and that typically include the protozoans, most algae, and often some fungi (as slime molds)

Other Words from protist

protistan \prō-​ˈtis-​tən \ adjective or noun

More from Merriam-Webster on protist

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with protist

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about protist

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