from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The collection of marine and freshwater organisms that can swim freely and are generally independent of currents, ranging in size from microscopic organisms to whales.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A generic term for organisms in the ocean that are capable of swimming independently of currents.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The aggregate of actively swimming animals in a body of water ranging from microscopic organisms to whales.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Swimming organisms considered collectively and in contrast with those that float and those that live upon or in the bottom. See plankton, benthos.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the aggregate of actively swimming animals in a body of water ranging from microscopic organisms to whales
Greek nēkton, neuter of nēktos, swimming, from nēkhein, to swim; see snā- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Coined in 1890 by Ernst Haeckel, from Greek νηκτόν (nēktón), "the swimming". (See Wikipedia.) (Wiktionary)