Definitions

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

  • n. A small, usually single-celled reproductive body that is highly resistant to desiccation and heat and is capable of growing into a new organism, produced especially by certain bacteria, fungi, algae, and nonflowering plants.
  • n. A dormant nonreproductive body formed by certain bacteria in response to adverse environmental conditions.
  • intransitive v. To produce spores.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A reproductive particle, usually a single cell, released by a fungus, alga, or plant that may germinate into another.
  • n. A thick resistant particle produced by a bacterium or protist to survive in harsh or unfavorable conditions.
  • v. To produce spores.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.
  • n. One of the minute grains in flowerless plants, which are analogous to seeds, as serving to reproduce the species.
  • n. An embryo sac or embryonal vesicle in the ovules of flowering plants.
  • n.
  • n. A minute grain or germ; a small, round or ovoid body, formed in certain organisms, and by germination giving rise to a new organism
  • n. One of the parts formed by fission in certain Protozoa. See Spore formation, belw.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A. Middle English form of spur.
  • n. In botany, a single cell which becomes free and is capable of developing directly into a new morphologically and physiologically independent individual.
  • n. In zoology, the seed or germ of an organism, of minute size, and not of the morphological value of a cell, such as one of the microscopic bodies into which the substance of many protozoans is resolved in the process of reproduction by sporation; a sporule; a gemmule, as of a sponge.
  • n. In biology, an organic body of extremely minute size, and not subject to ordinary classification; a sporozoid or zoöspore; a living germ, as a seed of certain diseases.
  • n. Figuratively, a germ; a seed; a source of being.

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

  • n. a small usually single-celled asexual reproductive body produced by many nonflowering plants and fungi and some bacteria and protozoans and that are capable of developing into a new individual without sexual fusion

Etymologies

Greek sporā, seed.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Modern Latin spora, from Ancient Greek σπορά (spora, "seed, a sowing"), related to σπόρος (sporos, "sowing") and σπείρω (speirō, "to sow"), from Proto-Indo-European *sper- (“to strew”). (Wiktionary)

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