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

It was long thought that the region was just too cold for the vinifera species, especially for red grapes. Fortune, "Winemakers in New York’s Finger Lakes Region Are Moving Beyond Riesling," 31 Aug. 2019 Can a certain species of shark be happy in an aquarium? Georgia Frances King, Quartz, "Are aquariums moral? It’s complicated, says Jacques Cousteau’s grandson," 16 Aug. 2019 For rare and endangered species, this situation threatens their survival, and for commercially important fish species, future harvests could be significantly reduced. National Geographic, "Mekong River at its lowest in 100 years, threatening food supply," 31 July 2019 Then there is Mexican television host and investigative reporter Carlos Loret de Mola, incensed that a species is going extinct in Mexico, who follows links that lead to the drug cartels. Kenneth Turan, Twin Cities, "Eco-crisis documentary ‘Sea of Shadows’ lives up to its sinister title," 25 July 2019 Then there is Mexican television host and investigative reporter Carlos Loret de Mola, incensed that a species is going extinct in Mexico, who follows links that lead to the drug cartels. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Eco-crisis documentary ‘Sea of Shadows’ lives up to its sinister title," 25 July 2019 In 2015, a diver was able to capture incredible closeup footage of a small-for-its-species giant squid that measured 12 feet long in Toyama Bay, 164 miles northwest of Tokyo. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Spot a Giant Squid for the First Time in the U.S.," 24 June 2019 First, the scientists created maps showing where each species is likely to occur today, explains lead author Vitor Gomes of the Federal University of Pará in Brazil. Tim Vernimmen, Scientific American, "Business as Usual Threatens Thousands of Amazon Tree Species," 24 June 2019 Because other species in the bay ecosystem depend on oysters performing their role, they are considered a keystone species. Julia Rentsch, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland oysters are having a bad year, and here’s why," 18 Aug. 2019

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

8 Sep 2019

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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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