Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of numerous spore-producing eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Fungi, which lack chlorophyll and vascular tissue and range in form from a single cell to a mass of branched filamentous hyphae that often produce specialized fruiting bodies. The kingdom includes the yeasts, smuts, rusts, mushrooms, and many molds, excluding the slime molds and the water molds.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A plant belonging to the group Fungi (which see).
  • noun In pathol., a spongy morbid excrescence, as proud flesh formed in wounds.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) Any one of the fungi, a large and very complex group of thallophytes of low organization, -- the molds, mildews, rusts, smuts, mushrooms, toadstools, puff balls, and the allies of each. See fungi.
  • noun (Med.) A spongy, morbid growth or granulation in animal bodies, as the proud flesh of wounds.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any member of the kingdom Fungi; a eukaryotic organism typically having chitin cell walls but no chlorophyll or plastids. Fungi may be unicellular or multicellular.

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

  • noun an organism of the kingdom Fungi lacking chlorophyll and feeding on organic matter; ranging from unicellular or multicellular organisms to spore-bearing syncytia

Etymologies

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

[Latin; perhaps akin to Greek spongos, sphongos, sponge.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin fungus ("mushroom"). Compare Ancient Greek σπόγγος (spongos).

Examples

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