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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1metazoa Animals of the Metazoa division.


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