Definition of amoeba in English:

amoeba

(US ameba)

nounamoebas, amoebae

  • A single-celled animal that catches food and moves about by extending fingerlike projections of protoplasm. Amoebas are either free-living in damp environments or parasitic.

    Many families and genera in the phylum Rhizopoda, kingdom Protista, including the aquatic Amoeba proteus

    • ‘Pheromones are widespread in the animal world, from the single-celled amoeba to human beings.’
    • ‘Contact with protozoa, the tremendously varied group of more sophisticated single-celled microbes that includes amoeba and paramecium, has also been greatly reduced in the developed world by water and food treatment measures.’
    • ‘The virus lives in single-celled organisms called amoebae and may be able to infect humans.’
    • ‘To put this time span in perspective, two billion years ago our ancestors were microscopic single-celled amoebas.’
    • ‘It must have a flexible structure that can expand and change, in much the same way that an amoeba adapts to its environment.’

Origin

Mid 19th century modern Latin, from Greek amoibē ‘change, alternation’.

Pronunciation

amoeba

/əˈmiːbə/