Meaning of SPECIES in English


I. ˈspē(ˌ)shēz, -_shiz also -(ˌ)sēz or -_siz noun

( plural species )

Etymology: Latin, appearance, form, kind, species, beauty — more at spy


a. : a class of individuals having common attributes and designated by a common name : a logical division of a genus or more comprehensive class : a subclass designated by adding to the name or connotation of a genus some specific difference that limits its application to a restricted group

the triangle is a species of plane figure

b. : a limited kind or group having a distinguishing characteristic ; especially : one capable of including variant individuals and of being subsumed in a more inclusive category

mineral species are made up of varieties having common basic properties

one species of tramp who wanders from workhouse to workhouse — Osbert Sitwell

c. : the race of man : human beings : humanity

progress of the species in science


(1) : a category of biological classification ranking immediately below a genus or subgenus and being denominated in taxonomic usage by a binomial that consists of the name of its genus followed by a Latin or latinized noun or adjective which is usually not capitalized and agrees grammatically with the genus name : a group of intimately related and physically similar organisms that actually or potentially interbreed and are less commonly capable of fertile interbreeding with members of other groups, that ordinarily comprise differentiated populations limited geographically (as subspecies) or ecologically (as ecotypes) which tend to intergrade at points of contact, and that as a group represent the stage of evolution at which variations become fixed through loss of ability to exchange genes with members of other groups although formerly conceived to be the total progeny of a single distinctive specially created pair — compare nomenclature 4c; see specific epithet

(2) : an individual plant or animal or a kind of plant or animal belonging to a particular species — not used technically

e. : a particular kind of atomic nucleus, atom, molecule, or ion

a great number of new nuclear species have been prepared within the last few years in the region of the natural radioactivities — Science

all atoms of a particular radioactive species have the same probability of disintegrating — H.D.Smyth

— compare isotope , nuclide


a. : the consecreated eucharistic elements ; specifically : the accidents of the eucharistic bread and wine as distinguished in Roman Catholicism from their substance


(1) : a mental image, phantasm, or sensuous presentation

(2) : an idea or object of thought that is the similitude of an object in nature whether in the guise of a modification of sense or of a purely intellectual correlative of the natural object ; broadly : form , aspect , appearance

c. obsolete : a reflected image : reflection

d. obsolete : an illusory image : phantom

3. obsolete : the essential quality or distinguishing characteristic of something


a. : a component part of a compound medicine : simple

b. : a mixture of chopped coarsely powdered vegetable drugs ; especially : one used to prepare an aromatic tea or tisane

a pectoral species

an emollient species

5. obsolete : money of gold, silver, or other metal : coin , specie

Synonyms: see class

II. adjective

: constituting, being a member of, or selected from a biological species and not belonging to a horticultural variety of hybrid origin

the China rose is a species rose

native American species irises

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.