zo·​oid | \ ˈzō-ˌȯid How to pronounce zooid (audio) \

Definition of zooid

: 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 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

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

First Known Use of zooid

1851, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for zooid

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.

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Cite this Entry

“Zooid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zooid. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for zooid


zo·​oid | \ ˈzō-ˌȯid How to pronounce zooid (audio) \

Medical Definition of zooid

: one of the asexually produced individuals of a compound organism (as a coral colony)

More from Merriam-Webster on zooid

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about zooid


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