Meaning of species in English:


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nounplural noun species

  • 1

    (also sp., spp.)
    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.

    ‘As in Darwin's theory of natural selection, a species must adjust to survive.’
    • ‘This was supposed to be representative of the very best our species was capable of achieving?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Most species have no natural predators and so do not fear humans.’
    type, kind, sort
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    1. 1.1Logic A group subordinate to a genus and containing individuals agreeing in some common attributes and called by a common name.
  • 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?’
    type, kind, sort
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    1. 2.1Used 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.’
    2. 2.2Chemistry Physics A particular kind of atom, molecule, ion, or particle.
      • ‘a new molecular species’
  • 3Christian Church
    The visible form of each of the elements of consecrated bread and wine in the Eucharist.



/ˈspiːʃiːz/ /ˈspiːʃɪz/ /ˈspiːsiːz/


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