species

noun
spe·​cies | \ ˈspē-(ˌ)shēz How to pronounce species (audio) , -(ˌ)sēz \
plural species

Definition of species

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : kind, sort
b : a class of individuals having common attributes and designated by a common name specifically : a logical division of a genus or more comprehensive class confessing sins in species and in number
c : the human race : human beings often used with thesurvival of the species in the nuclear age
d(1) : a category of biological classification ranking immediately below the genus or subgenus, comprising related organisms or populations potentially capable of interbreeding, and being designated by a binomial that consists of the name of a genus followed by a Latin or latinized uncapitalized noun or adjective agreeing grammatically with the genus name
(2) : an individual or kind belonging to a biological species
e : a particular kind of atomic nucleus, atom, molecule, or ion
2 : the consecrated eucharistic elements of the Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox Eucharist
3a : a mental image also : a sensible object
b : an object of thought correlative with a natural object

species

adjective

Definition of species (Entry 2 of 2)

: belonging to a biological species as distinguished from a horticultural variety a species rose

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Examples of species in a Sentence

Noun There are approximately 8,000 species of ants. All European domestic cattle belong to the same species. laws that protect endangered species
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The original painting was created to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Martha’s death, and the extinction of the species. The Enquirer, "John Ruthven, master wildlife artist, naturalist, philanthropist, dead at 95," 12 Oct. 2020 The lifespan of an evergreen needle depends on the tree species. Beth Botts, chicagotribune.com, "Evergreens might be shedding needles this season as well — here’s how to tell if there’s a problem with your tree," 10 Oct. 2020 Federal and state efforts had removed more than 2,000 of the exotic invasive species from 2002-2017, but efforts have been stepped up in the last four years. Richard Tribou, orlandosentinel.com, "Record-breaking python killed in Florida Everglades hunt," 9 Oct. 2020 All depended therefore on understanding the relation between an individual specimen and the species as a whole. Vivian Gornick, The New Republic, "The Anti-Social Novelist," 9 Oct. 2020 Some of the species found that day include warblers, thrushes, vireos and sparrows. Giulia Heyward And Saeed Ahmed, CNN, "Up to 1,500 birds may have flown into Philadelphia skyscrapers -- in a single day," 9 Oct. 2020 Among the species that moved south were the sequoias, which put down roots in the Sierra Nevada range. Heller Mcalpin, WSJ, "‘The Journeys of Trees’ Review: Giants in Transit," 9 Oct. 2020 Thanks to efforts to save the species from extinction, there are approximately 650 adult gharials in the wild, a significant increase in comparison to the 182 individuals recorded in 2006. Popular Science, "This crocodile daddy giving 100 babies a ride puts your carpool to shame," 9 Oct. 2020 Learn to identify the bird species that visit warmer winter climates around the world, with a focus on Florida snowbirds. Mary Lou Cruz, sun-sentinel.com, "Virtual community, entertainment events," 9 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Another influential factor in cross-species transmission is probably proximity. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why the New Coronavirus Affects Some Animals, but Not Others," 20 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'species.' 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 species

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1899, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for species

Noun

Middle English, from Latin, appearance, kind, species, from specere to look — more at spy

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Time Traveler for species

Time Traveler

The first known use of species was in the 14th century

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Statistics for species

Last Updated

17 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Species.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/species. Accessed 25 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for species

species

noun
How to pronounce species (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of species

biology : a group of animals or plants that are similar and can produce young animals or plants : a group of related animals or plants that is smaller than a genus
: a particular group of things or people that belong together or have some shared quality

species

noun
spe·​cies | \ ˈspē-shēz How to pronounce species (audio) , -sēz \
plural species

Kids Definition of species

1 : a group of similar living things that ranks below the genus in scientific classification and is made up of individuals able to produce offspring with one another The one-humped camel is a different species from the two-humped camel.
2 : a class of things of the same kind and with the same name : kind, sort

species

noun
spe·​cies | \ ˈspē-(ˌ)shēz How to pronounce species (audio) , -(ˌ)sēz How to pronounce species (audio) \
plural species

Medical Definition of species

1a : a category of biological classification ranking immediately below the genus or subgenus, comprising related organisms or populations potentially capable of interbreeding, and being designated by a binomial that consists of the name of the genus followed by a Latin or latinized uncapitalized noun or adjective agreeing grammatically with the genus name
b : an individual or kind belonging to a biological species
2 : a particular kind of atomic nucleus, atom, molecule, or ion production of DNA damage by active oxygen species

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Comments on species

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