Definition of archaea in English:


plural noun

  • another term for archaebacteria

    ‘Unlike bacteria and archaea, eukaryotes have their DNA in linear pieces that are bound up with special proteins to make chromosomes.’
    • ‘Marine plants literally live in a sea of bacteria, archaea, viruses, and fungi - some of which are bound to be pathogenic - yet they seldom get sick.’
    • ‘Bacteria and archaea often clone themselves, trade genes, and in some cases the microbes even merge together into a giant mass of DNA that then gives rise to spores.’
    • ‘Over the past three decades, bacteria and archaea have been found in some of the most inhospitable places on Earth.’
    • ‘Participants will also focus on a class of microbes known as the archaea, which literally means ‘ancient.’’



/ärˈkēə/ /ɑrˈkiə/ /ärˈkāə/ /ɑrˈkeɪə/


Modern Latin (plural), from Greek arkhaios ‘primitive’.