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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In a second scenario, the researchers created a small island of one species and surrounded it with the second species. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Starving predators survive together, but maybe only in math-land," 27 July 2019 The endangerment of species is not only a critical issue for animal and plant life but can also have a detrimental impact for humans. Jasmine Aguilera, Time, "'The Numbers Are Just Horrendous.' Almost 30,000 Species Face Extinction Because of Human Activity," 18 July 2019 The former is larger and has a conspicuously longer bill, but both have striking checkered black and white plumage, and the male of each species has a red patch on its head. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, "The percussive appeal of the woodpecker," 17 July 2019 Maine Bangor: The state is in the midst of an especially bad year for prevalence of a species of moth that can cause an itchy rash in humans. USA TODAY, "Troll trail, coal train derailment, geyser record: News from around our 50 states," 27 June 2019 So most mangoes commonly — or even uncommonly — available for our gustatory enjoyment are technically the same species, but considered to just be different varieties of that species. Kenneth Setzer, sun-sentinel.com, "What is the mysterious blue mango?," 25 June 2019 This high percentage of one species is something that her agency works to avoid. Mary Mcintyre, Lake County News-Sun, "After beetle wiped out 20% of parkway trees in Winthrop Harbor, federal grant will help restock the village," 14 June 2019 But still, even the possibility of a new species is a gauntlet thrown down to archaeologists and scientists who can help further unlock the secrets of humanity's past. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "AI Predicts Humans Have an Ancestor We Don't Even Know About Yet," 17 Jan. 2019 Others mentioned the role humans played in the extinction of a species—a cornerstone of Stewart Brand’s argument for reviving the passenger pigeon. Amy Dockser Marcus, WSJ, "Meet the Scientists Bringing Extinct Species Back From the Dead," 9 Oct. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about species

Statistics for species

Last Updated

11 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for species

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on species

What made you want to look up species? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a wrong name or inappropriate designation

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!