Definitions

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

  • noun Any of numerous chiefly single-celled eukaryotic organisms, most of which move about freely and ingest food, including the amoebas, ciliates, flagellates, and apicomplexans. Protozoa along with certain algae, oomycetes, and some other groups make up the protists.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • First, lowest, simplest, or most primitive, as an animal; of or pertaining to the Protozoa.
  • noun A member of the Protozoa; a protozoön.

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

  • adjective (Zoöl.) Of or pertaining to the protozoa.

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

  • noun cytology Any of the diverse group of eukaryotes, of the phylum Protozoa, that are primarily unicellular, existing singly or aggregating into colonies, are usually nonphotosynthetic, and are often classified further into phyla according to their capacity for and means of motility, as by pseudopods, flagella, or cilia.
  • adjective Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a protozoan.

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

  • noun any of diverse minute acellular or unicellular organisms usually nonphotosynthetic
  • adjective of or relating to the Protozoa

Etymologies

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

[From New Latin Prōtozōa, former subkingdom name : proto– + -zōa, pl. of -zōon, -zoon.]

Examples

  • Well, I suppose a protozoan could be a protagonist, added Charlotte.

    Freaked Out

  • Well, I suppose a protozoan could be a protagonist, added Charlotte.

    Freaked Out

  • A protozoan has the potential of evolving into a human being.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • Another protozoan that's achieved notoriety in the U.S. is Cryptosporidium parvum, which contaminated Milwaukee's water supply in the 1990's, causing the largest epidemic of diarrhea in U.S. history, infecting about 400,000 people and causing over one hundred deaths.

    Intestinal Parasites May Be Causing Your Energy Slump

  • Pick any eukaryotic species (say, the ciliated protozoan Tetrahymena thermophila) — one cannot be certain that a member of that species shares common ancestry, from a discrete cell, with a member of any other eukaryotic species (say, Drosophila melanogaster).

    A Disclaimer for Behe?

  • While the structure of this sentence is strictly accurate it has led several readers to point out that neither affliction results from a virus – babesia is a protozoan and fog fever is caused by the toxin 3-methylindole.

    Corrections and clarifications

  • You don't need to travel to a tropical location to contract a protozoan infection.

    Intestinal Parasites May Be Causing Your Energy Slump

  • For instance, the malaria protozoan Plasmodium falciparum infects humans, causing the malarial symptoms that everyone knows about, but it affects the mosquitoes, too.

    Haven

  • While the structure of this sentence is strictly accurate it has led several readers to point out that neither affliction results from a virus – babesia is a protozoan and fog fever is caused by the toxin 3-methylindole.

    Corrections and clarifications

  • For instance, the malaria protozoan Plasmodium falciparum infects humans, causing the malarial symptoms that everyone knows about, but it affects the mosquitoes, too.

    Haven

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