refugium

noun

re·​fu·​gi·​um ri-ˈfyü-jē-əm How to pronounce refugium (audio)
plural refugia ri-ˈfyü-jē-ə How to pronounce refugium (audio)
: an area of relatively unaltered climate that is inhabited by plants and animals during a period of continental climatic change (such as a glaciation) and remains as a center of relict forms from which a new dispersion and speciation may take place after climatic readjustment

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The findings in this paper are broadly consistent with the idea that Spain was a refugium, and so one of the sources of the population of Northern Europe. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 27 May 2010

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

Word History

Etymology

New Latin, from Latin, refuge

First Known Use

1943, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of refugium was in 1943

Dictionary Entries Near refugium

Cite this Entry

“Refugium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/refugium. Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

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