species

1 of 2

noun

spe·​cies ˈspē-(ˌ)shēz How to pronounce species (audio)
-(ˌ)sēz
plural species
1
a
: 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
3
a
: a mental image
also : a sensible object
b
: an object of thought correlative with a natural object

species

2 of 2

adjective

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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
This study is the first to reconstruct the structure, or architecture, of a genome from an extinct species that lived during the last ice age, said Peter Heintzman, a paleogeneticist at Stockholm University in Sweden. Jacopo Prisco, CNN, 11 July 2024 However, the species is native to Virginia, according to the Virginia Herpetological Society. Saman Shafiq, USA TODAY, 24 June 2024
Adjective
To come up with their estimates, the researchers linked their findings about newly suitable habitats for different species with biological patterns of cross-species transmission. Andrew Joseph, STAT, 29 Apr. 2022 There is plenty of good being done with cross-species gene transfer, too. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 1 May 2013 See all Example Sentences for species 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'species.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Adjective

1899, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near species

Cite this Entry

“Species.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/species. Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

species

noun
spe·​cies
ˈspē-shēz,
-sēz
plural species
1
: a class of things of the same kind and with the same name : kind
2
: a category of living things that ranks below a genus, is made up of related individuals able to produce fertile offspring, and is identified by a two-part scientific name

Medical Definition

species

noun
plural species
1
a
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on species

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