zooid

noun

zo·​oid ˈzō-ˌȯid How to pronounce zooid (audio)
: one of the asexually produced individuals of a compound organism (such as a bryozoan, siphonophore, or coral colony)

Examples of zooid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web While the zooids in charge of movement maneuver the siphonophore into the perfect position for finding food, the zooids in charge of predation are armed with fluorescent tentacles that twitch and flash to attract prey. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 28 Aug. 2023 These structures are composed of chains of several sorts of zooids, including transparent, tentacled zooids that are specialized for snatching food, and they are attached to globular, gelatinous floats filled with gas. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 28 Aug. 2023 Each siphonophore is a colony of individual zooids, clusters of cells that clone themselves thousands of times to produce an extended, stringlike body. Devi Lockwood, New York Times, 14 Apr. 2020 The creatures, made up of individual zooids -- small, multicellular organisms -- normally reside in warmer waters, like the tropics, and usually don't travel farther north than the waters off southern California. Ted Sickinger, OregonLive.com, 22 Apr. 2018 Inside the wall of this gelatinous tube, which can get up to 60 cm, individual zooids are tightly packed together. The Washington Post, OregonLive.com, 29 June 2017 These zooids have an incurrent and excurrent siphon and use cilia to pump water for feeding, respiration and movement. The Washington Post, OregonLive.com, 29 June 2017 In fact, these giants, called pyrosomes, are actually made up of thousands of much smaller creatures called zooids. National Geographic, 29 Mar. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'zooid.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Greek zôion "animal" + -oid entry 1 — more at zoo-

Note: Term introduced by T. H. huxley in "Observations upon the Anatomy and Physiology of Salpa and Pyrosoma," "Received February 26,—Read March 27, 1851," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society for the Year 1851, Part II, p. 579.

First Known Use

1851, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of zooid was in 1851

Dictionary Entries Near zooid

Cite this Entry

“Zooid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zooid. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition

zooid

noun
zo·​oid ˈzō-ˌȯid How to pronounce zooid (audio)
: one of the asexually produced individuals of a compound organism (as a coral colony)

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