species

noun
spe·​cies | \ ˈspē-(ˌ)shēz, -(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 the survival 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

But then came the mandarin duck, a rare species that likely escaped from a home zoo and made its way to Central Park, capturing hearts and minds—first of the city, then the nation. The Editors, Marie Claire, "Marie Claire Editors Tell You Their Favorite Things You Probably Missed in 2018," 31 Dec. 2018 Off Rhode Island, newly booming fisheries include not just black sea bass but also squid and Jonah crab, an edible species with big, dark-brown claws. Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ, "Climate Change Drives Fish Into New Waters, Remaking an Industry," 22 Dec. 2018 In its arguments, the group cites the whiteline topminnow, a species that used to live in Big Spring before the development in downtown Huntsville. Dennis Pillion, AL.com, "Alabama auto plant could wipe out endangered fish, group says," 11 Apr. 2018 The Siberian Times reports that the foal is an extinct species of horse known as Lena horse, or Equus lenensis. James Rogers, Fox News, "Scientists want to clone this extinct, frozen prehistoric horse," 6 Sep. 2018 Jungers holds open the possibility that the Shangchen toolmaker was a species of Australopithecus, a group of more ape-like hominins to which the iconic fossil Lucy belongs. Colin Barras, Scientific American, "Tools from China are Oldest Hint of Human Lineage Outside Africa," 11 July 2018 What Jarvis finds is a species that represents colonizers’ remorse, the need for mystery in a world of diminishing scale, and one more expression of industrial society’s ruination of the earth. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Here Be Tigers," 28 June 2018 The mosquito is a species called Anopheles albimanus, the primary transmitter of the deadly disease in Central America and the Caribbean. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "How ‘Self-Limiting’ Mosquitos Can Help Eradicate Malaria," 21 June 2018 This is a species that has set up territories in Mecklenburg County a handful of times but is still considered a local rarity. Taylor Piephoff, charlotteobserver, "Willow flycatchers are maddingly difficult to identify in the field," 13 June 2018

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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Statistics for species

Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for species

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

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More Definitions for species

species

noun

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, -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, -(ˌ)sēz \
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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