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 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 Both species in attendance seemed to enjoy themselves. New York Times, "When the Cellos Play, the Cows Come Home," 28 Apr. 2021 Eventually, scientists hope for a complete iNaturalist inventory of species in the region. Morgan Greene, chicagotribune.com, "Researchers hope this weekend’s nature challenge inspires Chicago’s citizen scientists: ‘More people out there is just more ears to listen, more eyes to see’," 28 Apr. 2021 Gleaning data about the number of species and individuals in a region is just the beginning. Harini Barath, Scientific American, "Artificial Intelligence Develops an Ear for Birdsong," 26 Apr. 2021 The plans identify more than 12,000 species in need of conservation assistance, according to the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A 'game changing' $1.4 billion wildlife reintroduced in Congress has its best chance of passing this time," 24 Apr. 2021 Explore the unique and extraordinary communication and social structures of five whale species in this series shot over three years in 24 locations. Washington Post, "Greta Thunberg: A Year to Change the World," 22 Apr. 2021 But the population growth was far below the 30% increase expected from a species in the early stages of its recovery, said Amaroq Weiss of the Center for Biological Diversity. oregonlive, "Wolf population in Oregon grows by nearly 10%, but illegal killings worry advocates," 22 Apr. 2021 In particular, trust officials wanted to limit growth of the invasive species in the Hammock Grove, a forest-style setting that is being developed with the planting of some 1,200 trees. Charles Passy, WSJ, "Who Is Moving Into New York City Now? Sheep," 20 Apr. 2021 The brown creeper is one of five creeper species in the world, the only one in North America. Jim Williams, Star Tribune, "How to spot the reclusive brown creeper," 20 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Genes are typically transmitted vertically, from parents to offspring, and don’t involve inter-species crossover. Chris Smith, BGR, "A bug acquired the DNA of a toxic plant, and now it’s running rampant," 26 Mar. 2021 It will be added to the county’s future East County multi-species conservation plan area, part of a regional program launched in 1998 to manage conservation, recreation and agriculture while carving out areas designated for development. Deborah Sullivan Brennan, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego County to buy Star Ranch in Campo for conservation plan," 21 Mar. 2021 Now, new research finds that these maestros of impersonation sometimes reproduce the sounds of an entire multi-species flock while courting females and during mating, reports Jake Buehler for Science News. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "This Bird Mimics an Entire Flock to Woo Females," 3 Mar. 2021 Inter-species jumps of viruses make scientists nervous — as do suggestions of potentially significant mutations that result from those jumps. Helen Branswell, STAT, "Spread of mutated coronavirus in Danish mink ‘hits all the scary buttons,’ but fears may be overblown," 5 Nov. 2020 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

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Species.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/species. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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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 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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