subspecies

noun
sub·​spe·​cies | \ ˈsəb-ˌspē-shēz How to pronounce subspecies (audio) , -sēz \

Definition of subspecies

: a subdivision of a species: such as
a : a category in biological classification that ranks immediately below a species and designates a population of a particular geographic region genetically distinguishable from other such populations of the same species and capable of interbreeding successfully with them where its range overlaps theirs
b : a named subdivision (such as a race or variety) of a taxonomic species
c : subgroup sense 1 a political subspecies

Other Words from subspecies

subspecific \ ˌsəb-​spi-​ˈsi-​fik How to pronounce subspecies (audio) \ adjective

Examples of subspecies in a Sentence

There are two subspecies of bison in North America.
Recent Examples on the Web The Grant's zebra is the smallest of the seven subspecies of the plains zebra and are part of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in the wild, according to the zoo. Vanessa Etienne, PEOPLE.com, 13 May 2022 Allowing scientists to create a subspecies capable of helping cull the population of disease-carrying insects. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 1 Apr. 2022 Due to their adaptability to a wide range of habitats, there are around 30 million white-tailed deer, including subspecies, across the continent. Serena Coady, SELF, 9 Feb. 2022 Scientists analyzed the genomes of 251 western honeybees encompassing 18 different subspecies from across Europe, Asia and Africa to reveal that this species originated in western Asia, Carissa Wong reports for New Scientist. Rasha Aridi, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Dec. 2021 The three subspecies of sagebrush—Wyoming, mountain, and basin—are hard to differentiate, but drones may help. The Editors, Outside Online, 18 June 2015 Ari Novy, the garden’s president and a plant evolutionary biologist with a doctorate from Rutgers University, said the biggest mistake is to look at plants as groups based on their species and subspecies, rather than as individuals. San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Mar. 2022 One point of contention surrounding the listing of the bird is whether the populations in southern Arizona and western Texas are considered distinct populations that vary widely enough to be considered separate subspecies. Lindsey Botts, The Arizona Republic, 20 Feb. 2022 The mass of blue whiting, a subspecies of cod used in the manufacturing of fish fingers, fish oil and other products, covered a surface of nearly 32,300 square feet, the nonprofit said. Washington Post, 5 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subspecies.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of subspecies

1681, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for subspecies

New Latin

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Time Traveler for subspecies

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The first known use of subspecies was in 1681

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Dictionary Entries Near subspecies

sub specie aeternitatis

subspecies

subspherical

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Statistics for subspecies

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Subspecies.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subspecies. Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for subspecies

subspecies

noun
sub·​spe·​cies | \ ˈsəb-ˌspē-shēz, -sēz How to pronounce subspecies (audio) \

Medical Definition of subspecies

: a subdivision of a species: as
a : a category in biological classification that ranks immediately below a species and designates a population of a particular geographical region genetically distinguishable from other such populations of the same species and capable of interbreeding successfully with them where its range overlaps theirs
b : a named subdivision (as a race or variety) of a species

Other Words from subspecies

subspecific \ ˌsəb-​spi-​ˈsif-​ik How to pronounce subspecies (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on subspecies

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for subspecies

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about subspecies

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