from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- Leuwenhoek, Anton van See Anton van Leeuwenhoek.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. Dutch pioneer microscopist who was among the first to recognize cells in animals and who gave the first accurate descriptions of microbes and spermatozoa and blood corpuscles (1632-1723)
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Hitherto, ever since the discovery of magnifying-glasses, there had been here and there a man, such as Leuwenhoek or Malpighi, gifted with exceptional vision, and perhaps unusually happy in his conjectures, who made important contributions to the knowledge of the minute structure of organic tissues; but now of a sudden it became possible for the veriest tyro to confirm or refute the laborious observations of these pioneers, while the skilled observer could step easily beyond the barriers of vision that hitherto were quite impassable.
Leuwenhoek, his countryman and contemporary, made notable discoveries with regard to capillary circulation and the blood corpuscles of man and animals ...
Hartsocher and Leuwenhoek disputed with each other the honour of having first seen the vermiculi of which mankind are formed.
He went to Zaandam to see the Greenland whaling fleet, visited the celebrated botanical garden with the great Boerhaave, studied the microscope at Delft under Leuwenhoek, became intimate with the military engineer Coehorn, talked with Schynvoet of architecture, and learned to etch from Schonebeck.
Hartsocher and Leuwenhoek disputed with each other the honour of having first seen the _vermiculi_ of which mankind are formed.
1690 Leuwenhoek discovered spermatozoa by the aid of the microscope, the idea was evolved that each male cell contained a complete microscopic man, the _homunculus_; and then it was announced that not
If, from the mastodon and the fossil mammoth, to which Buffon attributes five or six times the bulk and size of the elephant, we descend to those animalculae, of which Leuwenhoek estimates that a thousand millions of them would not occupy the place of an ordinary grain of sand. "
Leuwenhoek and other naturalifts, clearly demonftrated that fome ani - mals which were fuppofed to owe their exiflence to the above caufes, or C 57] or in other words, to fpontaneous generation, really had a regular produdtion.