from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of numerous eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Fungi, which lack chlorophyll and vascular tissue and range in form from a single cell to a body mass of branched filamentous hyphae that often produce specialized fruiting bodies. The kingdom includes the yeasts, molds, smuts, and mushrooms.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any member of the kingdom Fungi; a eukaryotic organism typically having chitin cell walls but no chlorophyll or plastids. Fungi may be unicellular or multicellular.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any one of the fungi, a large and very complex group of thallophytes of low organization, -- the molds, mildews, rusts, smuts, mushrooms, toadstools, puff balls, and the allies of each. See fungi.
  • n. A spongy, morbid growth or granulation in animal bodies, as the proud flesh of wounds.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A plant belonging to the group Fungi (which see).
  • n. In pathol., a spongy morbid excrescence, as proud flesh formed in wounds.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an organism of the kingdom Fungi lacking chlorophyll and feeding on organic matter; ranging from unicellular or multicellular organisms to spore-bearing syncytia


Latin; perhaps akin to Greek spongos, sphongos, sponge.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin fungus ("mushroom"). Compare Ancient Greek σπόγγος (spongos). (Wiktionary)


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