Definition of Metazoa in US English:


plural noun

  • 1A major division of the animal kingdom that comprises all animals other than protozoans and sponges. They are multicellular animals with differentiated tissues.

    Subkingdom Metazoa, kingdom Animalia

    • ‘Now, based on the study with protein molecules, Fungi are regarded as the nearest-neighbor kingdom of the Metazoa, a conclusion which is supported by others.’
    • ‘However, their importance in elucidating the phylogeny of the Metazoa, particularly the arthropods, has recently increased interest in this group.’
    • ‘Belt desmosomes are the constituent character of the Epitheliazoa, the next higher taxon above the Porifera within the Metazoa, comprising the taxa Placozoa and Eumetazoa.’
    • ‘Not only Metazoa, but other multicellular clades such as Fungii and Metaphyta, must also be organized so that their basic body parts-differentiated cell types-are assembled into a hierarchy of functional associations.’
    • ‘After analyzing protein sequences from sponges, especially those which comprise receptors, it was established that all Metazoa, including Porifera, are of monophyletic origin.’
    1. 1.1metazoa Animals of the Metazoa division.


Modern Latin (plural), from meta- (expressing change) + Greek zōia (plural of zōion ‘animal’).