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

The sooner those technologies can be made cheap, the more time human beings as a species will have to enjoy their benefits. David Roberts, Vox, "China made solar panels cheap. Now it’s doing the same for electric buses.," 24 July 2018 Orcas, which are actually a species of dolphin, are frequently spotted off Monterey in April and May. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "It's a 'killer whale bonanza' in Monterey Bay — and sightings are breaking records | The Sacramento Bee," 8 May 2018 The bird is considered a species of special concern in California and threatened in Mexico. Phillip Molnar, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Industrial park breaks ground near U.S.-Mexico border," 26 Mar. 2018 While it is considered a nuisance species, the fish has many unhailed pluses, said Wink. Laine Welch, Anchorage Daily News, "Seafood industry seeks new value in fish parts," 15 Jan. 2018 Here, fossils of short people thought to be early H. erectus date back to about 1.85 million years—just after the species appears in Africa. Ann Gibbons, Science | AAAS, "Our ancestors may have left Africa hundreds of thousands of years earlier than thought," 11 July 2018 The monarch butterfly was submitted for consideration for the federal endangered species list in 2014 and the decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be announced June 2019. Anna Groves, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "They're beautiful — and in danger. Now, a huge effort focuses on saving monarch butterflies," 13 July 2018 But neutralizing overall harm doesn’t move a species any closer to recovery, which is why environmentalists frequently oppose these permits. Peter S. Alagona, Outside Online, "The Endangered Species Act Needs a Reboot," 9 July 2018 That’s important in Florida, the insect capital of the United States and the gateway for an average of a new species arrival every month. Jack Payne, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Insects as art: How Florida can overcome the yuck factor," 9 July 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

17 Nov 2018

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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Comments on species

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