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

And this new paper looks at just one species, when there are more than 20,000 living bee species. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "There’s a new insecticide on the block, and it’s also bad news for bees," 19 Aug. 2018 Another species, bone-eating worms,use acid to dissolve the skeletons of dead whales. Cliff Kapono, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Boom! Pow! Zap! The superheroes of the sea have invaded Birch Aquarium," 3 July 2018 For a science that can count the bones of some entire fossil hominin species with the fingers of one hand, finding so many fossils of one species in one place is unprecedented. Lydia Pyne, Ars Technica, "Rising Star found a new species—now it wants to find a new way for paleoanthropology," 20 Dec. 2018 So is this one species of spider the only lactating arachnid, or is this behavior more common than scientists thought? Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "There Is a Spider That Feeds Its Young Delicious Milk, Because Nature Is Scary," 30 Nov. 2018 Not one species, one bird, the famed African gray parrot, Alex, who knew not only words, but numbers. James Gorman, New York Times, "Do Bees Know Nothing?," 7 June 2018 The good bit about that work is that scientists have used tissue samples and genetics to determine that the salamander is not one species, but at least five. Matt Simon, WIRED, "The 6-Foot Chinese Giant Salamander Is in Serious Trouble," 21 May 2018 This in itself isn’t much to brag about—except that one part of the boquila can impersonate one species while another part of the same individual mimics an entirely different species. Gerard Helferich, WSJ, "‘The Revolutionary Genius of Plants’ Review: Thinking Like a Flower," 4 Jan. 2019 During this time, an invasive species was introduced in order to stop the soil from eroding. Lindsay Silberman, Town & Country, "The Best Room At...Six Senses Zil Pasyon," 13 Nov. 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

19 May 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 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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one that collects or salvages junk

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