One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Relating to or capable of cryptobiosis.
- ‘A common feature of cryptobiotic processes is the production of large amounts of saccharides triggered by the detection of stressful conditions.’
- ‘This showed us that they had been preserved in a cryptobiotic state.’
2Denoting primitive organisms of the kind presumed to have existed in earlier geological periods but to have left no trace of their existence.
Early 19th century (in the sense ‘denoting the class of natural objects that comprises non-living things’): from crypto- + Greek biōtikos ‘fit for life’ (from bios ‘life’).
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