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Related to animalcula: animalcules


Term used by believers in the preformation theory to designate the supposed miniature body contained in a gamete. See: homunculus.
[Mod. L. animalculum, dim. of L. animal, a living being]
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(ăn′ə-măl′kyo͞ol) also


n. pl. animal·cules also animal·cula (-kyə-lə)
A microscopic or minute organism, such as an amoeba or paramecium, usually considered to be an animal.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


An obsolete, nonspecific term for:
(1) Any microscopic organism; 
(2) Any “core” organism of the now-discarded preformation theory.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.