One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural amoebas, Plural amoebae
A single-celled animal that catches food and moves about by extending fingerlike projections of protoplasm. Amoebas are either free-living in damp environments or parasitic.
Many families and genera in the phylum Rhizopoda, kingdom Protista, including the aquatic Amoeba proteus
- ‘The virus lives in single-celled organisms called amoebae and may be able to infect humans.’
- ‘Contact with protozoa, the tremendously varied group of more sophisticated single-celled microbes that includes amoeba and paramecium, has also been greatly reduced in the developed world by water and food treatment measures.’
- ‘Pheromones are widespread in the animal world, from the single-celled amoeba to human beings.’
- ‘To put this time span in perspective, two billion years ago our ancestors were microscopic single-celled amoebas.’
- ‘It must have a flexible structure that can expand and change, in much the same way that an amoeba adapts to its environment.’
Mid 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek amoibē ‘change, alternation’.
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