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 thesurvival 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 Today, as a virus from another species upends human society, the usefulness of communicating with animals on their own terms is suddenly more imaginable. Michelle Nijhuis, The New York Review of Books, "Buzz Buzz Buzz," 3 Aug. 2020 This same escape behavior happened with four other frog species, but some beetles had slightly lower rates of success. Kristen Rogers, CNN, "Eaten water beetles stay alive by escaping through the predator's anus," 3 Aug. 2020 In most species, there is heavy traffic into and out of the nest. Michael Schulson, Wired, "What Can Ants and Bees Teach Us About Containing Disease?," 1 Aug. 2020 On Alcatraz, the fearless predators, who can dive after prey at speeds up to 200 mph, seem to be making few friends with other island species, according to the National Park Service. Steve Rubenstein, SFChronicle.com, "Peregrine falcons swoop into Alcatraz, and here come the chicks," 31 July 2020 In the wild, giraffes, the world's tallest species, usually measure between 15 and 18 feet. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "Australia's Forest the Giraffe Named the World's Tallest Giraffe, Celebrates with the Irwins," 31 July 2020 At least one shark species is omnivorous—and probably more. Joanna Klein, National Geographic, "The most fascinating shark discoveries of the past decade," 28 July 2020 Located in the Orrville Industrial Park, Lavender Trails Farm is a pick-your-own lavender field filled with 1,500 of the fragrant plants in eight species. David Petkiewicz, cleveland, "Brown field transformed into fragrant lavender farm with 1,500 plants in Orrville (photos)," 13 July 2020 Handfish are a family of 14 unusual bottom-dwelling species related to deep-sea anglerfish. David Shiffman, Scientific American, "Smooth Handfish Extinction Marks a Sad Milestone," 13 July 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

6 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Species.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/species. Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for species

species

noun
How to pronounce species (audio)

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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