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

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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 There are four species of the iconic long-necked mammals and several subspecies. Leslie Nemo, Scientific American, "See Stunning Collection of Portraits of Africa’s Most Endangered Wildlife," 28 Apr. 2021 Scientists have divided Polioptila californica into several subspecies. Zach St. George, Harper's Magazine, "Birds of a Feather," 27 Apr. 2021 Western lowland gorillas are the most common gorilla subspecies living in the forests and swamplands of central Africa, according to the Jacksonville Zoo. Nicholas Rice, PEOPLE.com, "Florida Zoo Welcomes 'Critically Endangered' Baby Gorilla: 'We Have Many Reasons to Celebrate'," 14 Apr. 2021 The Mexican subspecies of the Virginia opossum has appeared eight times in front of the cameras during the study over the past year. AZCentral.com, "Trail cameras reveal more than 100 wildlife species along Arizona's southern borderlands," 15 Apr. 2021 The zoo is home to over 12,000 animals and over 650 species and subspecies. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, "9 of the Best Zoos in the U.S.," 8 Apr. 2021 Spring season dates vary according to zone, region and wild turkey subspecies. Matt Williams, Dallas News, "Spring turkey hunting: Everything you need to know, including season dates, hotspots and the freeze," 26 Mar. 2021 And the pink house embodies the rapid development encroaching on a precious ecosystem, home to more than 2,500 species and subspecies of animals, half of which exist only there. Isabelle Khurshudyan, Washington Post, "Along Russia’s majestic Lake Baikal, the quest for tourism cash stalks a pristine landscape," 1 Apr. 2021 The other subspecies, P. c. crucifer, is found from Georgia northward, all the way into central and eastern Canada, and from the Mississippi River eastward to the Atlantic coast. Tom Sater, CNN, "It's no joke -- thunder wakes the peepers and brings good crops of corn and hay," 31 Mar. 2021

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.

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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

Time Traveler

The first known use of subspecies was in 1681

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Statistics for subspecies

Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Subspecies.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subspecies. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for subspecies

subspecies

noun

English Language Learners Definition of subspecies

: a group of related plants or animals that is smaller than a species : a division of a species

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

Comments on subspecies

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