Definitions

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

  • n. Any of a group of eukaryotic organisms belonging to the kingdom Protista according to some widely used modern taxonomic systems. The protists include a variety of unicellular, coenocytic, colonial, and multicellular organisms, such as the protozoans, slime molds, brown algae, and red algae.
  • n. A unicellular protoctist in taxonomic systems in which the protoctists are considered to form a kingdom.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of the eukaryotic unicellular organisms including protozoans, slime molds and some algae; historically grouped into the kingdom Protoctista.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of the Protista.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to the Protista, or having their characters.
  • n. Any member of the Protista.

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

  • n. free-living or colonial organisms with diverse nutritional and reproductive modes

Etymologies

From New Latin Prōtista, former kingdom name, from Greek prōtista, neuter pl. of prōtistos, the very first, superlative of prōtos, first; see per1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • The Toxoplasma bacteria protist is shed in cat feces, which are eaten by rats; infected rats become fearless in the presence of cats, which makes them easier to catch, which, in turn spreads the disease to new cats.

    Boing Boing: January 22, 2006 - January 28, 2006 Archives

  • They discovered a heterotrophic algae, in reality a protist, that is

    Clean Break

  • Simpson (1961: 117, 165) emphasized this by pointing out that an unbroken lineage could be traced from man back to protist ancestors, and any delimitation that represents a point in time means that an individual organism “could belong to one species one instant and to another species the next instant.”

    About 'What Darwin Got Wrong'

  • The protist, Monosiga brevicollis, has a tyrosine kinase signaling network more elaborate and diverse than found in any known metazoan, PNAS 2008.

    Biomolecular Networks

  • The protist M. brevicollis has already been discussed on this forum.

    A Tetrahymena Puzzle

  • This process has also avoided the need to sow, tend, and harvest crops for biofuels or to feed them to protist slime pools.

    SOTU From An Energy Perspective | RedState

  • (This species of protist was described back in 2000.) (News source.)

    Archive 2008-11-01

  • And when it's done in order to 'fit into' interviewer's likely standards of what looks employable, these are things individuals have done since much earlier making the effort to go get something that can be converted into energy for the body to use, whether a protist swimming around the better to find other cells to eat or a human trying to get a job to earn money to exchange for food to eat.

    Good Hair (2010)

  • What matters is that the cadherins are not essential for protist life.

    An Animal Toolkit in a Single-Celled Organism

  • Whereas viruses are parasites, and prokaryotes are osmotrophs or autotrophs, marine protist provide examples of these distinct life-styles as well as certain combinations of strategies.

    Marine microbes

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