from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The collection of small or microscopic organisms, including algae and protozoans, that float or drift in great numbers in fresh or salt water, especially at or near the surface, and serve as food for fish and other larger organisms.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a generic term for all the organisms that float in the sea. A single organism is known as a plankter
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. All the animals and plants, taken collectively, which live at or near the surface of salt or fresh waters.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In biology: The minor animals and plants, including especially the lower organisms, that float or swim together in the water, considered collectively and in contrast, with those that live upon the bottom under the water, or on land.
- n. The minor animals and plants that float passively in the water, considered collectively and in contrast with those that swim actively. See nekton.
- n. Specifically in phytogeography, an aquatic vegetation consisting of freely floating microscopic algæ.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the aggregate of small plant and animal organisms that float or drift in great numbers in fresh or salt water
German, from Greek, neuter of planktos, wandering, from plazein, to turn aside; see plāk-2 in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From German Plankton, coined by Viktor Hensen and derived from Ancient Greek πλαγκτός ("drifter"). (Wiktionary)