Definition of species in English:



  • 1Biology
    A group of living organisms consisting of similar individuals capable of exchanging genes or interbreeding. The species is the principal natural taxonomic unit, ranking below a genus and denoted by a Latin binomial, e.g., "Homo sapiens"

    • ‘Organisms of a particular species all have the same genes but have different alleles.’
    • ‘They have found the genes that somewhat resemble the genes of the bird species.’
    • ‘As in Darwin's theory of natural selection, a species must adjust to survive.’
    • ‘Most species have no natural predators and so do not fear humans.’
    • ‘This was supposed to be representative of the very best our species was capable of achieving?’
    type, kind, sort
    genus, family, order, breed, race, strain, variety, class, category, classification
    style, manner, design, shape, form, pattern, group, set, bracket, genre, rank, generation, vintage, make, model, brand
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Logic
      A group subordinate to a genus and containing individuals agreeing in some common attributes and called by a common name.
    2. 1.2A kind or sort.
      ‘a species of invective at once tough and suave’
      • ‘Is it that Graphic Design will be thought of as a species of decorative art or some kind of crazy expressive thing?’
    3. 1.3Used humorously to refer to people who share a characteristic or occupation.
      ‘a political species that is becoming more common, the environmental statesman’
      • ‘Most writers deny thinking of a specific reader, or of a species called readers when writing.’
      • ‘In an industry where song writers are a rare species, Louie X has come to stand-out as one of the most song writers of note.’
    4. 1.4Physics Chemistry
      A particular kind of atom, molecule, ion, or particle.
      ‘a new molecular species’
  • 2Christian Church
    The visible form of each of the elements of consecrated bread and wine in the Eucharist.


Late Middle English: from Latin, literally appearance, form, beauty from specere to look.