pl. protozoans or protozoa any of a subkingdom (Protozoa) of microscopic animals made up of a single cell or a group of more or less identical cells and living in water or as parasites, including ciliates, flagellates, rhizopods, and sporozoans
Origin of protozoan; from Modern Latin Protozoa, name of the phylum (see proto- and amp; -zoa) + -an
nounpl. pro·to·zo·ans or pro·to·zo·a also pro·to·zo·ons
Any of numerous chiefly single-celled eukaryotic organisms, most of which move about freely and ingest food, including the amoebas, ciliates, flagellates, and apicomplexans. Protozoans along with certain algae, oomycetes, and some other groups make up the protists.
Origin of protozoanFrom New Latin Prōtozōa, former subkingdom name : proto– + -zōa, pl. of -zōon, -zoon.
- pro′to·zo′an, pro′to·zo′al, pro′to·zo′ic
- (cytology) Any of the diverse group of eukaryotes, of the phylum Protozoa, that are primarily unicellular, existing singly or aggregating into colonies, are usually nonphotosynthetic, and are often classified further into phyla according to their capacity for and means of motility, as by pseudopods, flagella, or cilia.
- Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a protozoan.