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

  • n. A freshwater blue-green alga of the genus Nostoc, forming spherical colonies of filaments embedded in a gelatinous substance.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A plant of the genus Nostoc.
  • n. A genus of fresh-water algæ belonging to the Cryptophyceæ or Cyanophyceæ, the lowest group of algæ, and typical of the family Nostocaceæ and subclass Nostochineæ.

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

  • n. found in moist places as rounded jellylike colonies


New Latin, coined by Paracelsus.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • Dr. Edwards writes of the substance that had so completely, or beautifully -- if beauty is completeness -- been identified as nostoc -- "It turned out to be lung-tissue also."

    The Book of the Damned

  • I told him that the phlegm was a vegetable called nostoc, and he thereupon concluded that too much learning had turned my brain, and, fully persuaded of his own complete knowledge of nature, was pleased to be very facetious at my expense.

    The World's Greatest Books — Volume 19 — Travel and Adventure

  • Cosmical gelatinous vesicles, similar to the organic 'nostoc' (masses which have been supposed since the Middle Ages to be connected with shooting stars), and those pyrites of Sterlitamak, west of the Uralian Mountains, which are said to have constituted the interior of hailstones, * must both be classed among the mythical fables of meteorology.

    COSMOS: A Sketch of the Physical Description of the Universe, Vol. 1

  • We are not told of nostoc, this time: it is said that the object contained numerous eggs of "some species of Chironomus, from which larvae soon emerged."

    The Book of the Damned

  • It will mean that something had been in a stationary position for several days over a small part of a small town in England: this is the revolutionary thing that we have alluded to before; whether the substance were nostoc, or spawn, or some kind of a larval nexus, doesn't matter so much.

    The Book of the Damned

  • Or we've arrived at one of the oldest of the exclusionists 'conventions -- or nostoc.

    The Book of the Damned

  • Now, I can't say that nostoc is always greenish, any more than I can say that blackbirds are always black, having seen a white one: we shall quote a scientist who knew of flesh-colored nostoc, when so to know was convenient.

    The Book of the Damned

  • Mr. Brandeis 'communication, his feeling was of conviction that propriety had been re-established, or that the problem had been solved, as he expresses it: knowing Mr. Brandeis well, he had called upon that upholder of respectability, to see the substance that had been identified as nostoc.

    The Book of the Damned

  • Or that, if often reported, grayish or whitish gelatinous substance is not nostoc, and is not spawn if occurring in times unseasonable for spawn.

    The Book of the Damned

  • Memel may have had such an experience may be indicated in that Ehrenberg found in it gelatinous matter, which he called "nostoc."

    The Book of the Damned


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