protist

noun

pro·​tist ˈprō-(ˌ)tist How to pronounce protist (audio)
: 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)
protistan adjective or noun

Examples of protist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Mavericks are an ancient and fragmented class of jumping genes prevalent in the genomes of protists, fungi and animals, including humans. Saugat Bolakhe, Quanta Magazine, 3 Aug. 2023 This provided the perfect conditions for a thriving microbial community of protists, bacteria, viruses and even some larger creatures such as snails and worms. Jack Tamisiea, Scientific American, 9 Aug. 2023 While bacteria, viruses and many protists frequently exchange DNA, multicellular animals have protective barriers around their reproductive cells that generally prevent the uptake of foreign DNA. Saugat Bolakhe, Quanta Magazine, 3 Aug. 2023 Stealthy, Abundant Invaders The team systematically scanned more than 3,300 genomes from across the full breadth of eukaryotic diversity — everything from sheep to sequoias to ciliate protists. Jake Buehler, Quanta Magazine, 30 Mar. 2023 Some marine protists with gargantuan breeding populations had hundreds or thousands of introners. Jake Buehler, Quanta Magazine, 30 Mar. 2023 Looking like a puffy white star studded with little pearls, this is the shell of an amoeboid protist called a foraminifera, or foram. Discover Magazine, 29 June 2010 Over the past 50 years or so, scientists have shown that hundreds of organisms in nearly all branches of the bacterial, protist and animal kingdoms have the ability to detect and respond to this geomagnetic field. Shinsuke Shimojo, Daw-An Wu, Discover Magazine, 18 Mar. 2019 Viral genes were detected alongside 51 percent of protist cells from the gulf and 35 percent from the sea. Jennifer Frazer, Scientific American, 11 Nov. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'protist.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1873, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of protist was in 1873

Dictionary Entries Near protist

Cite this Entry

“Protist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/protist. Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

protist

noun
pro·​tist ˈprōt-əst How to pronounce protist (audio)
: any of a kingdom of organisms that resemble plants or animals or both, are one-celled and sometimes colonial or less often many-celled, and that typically include the protozoans, most algae, and often some fungi (as slime molds)
protistan adjective or noun

Medical Definition

protist

noun
: 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)
protistan adjective or noun

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