An`i*mal"cule (#), n. [As if fr. a L. animalculum, dim. of animal.]

1.

A small animal, as a fly, spider, etc.

[Obs.]

Ray.

2. Zool.

An animal, invisible, or nearly so, to the naked eye. See Infusoria.

⇒ Many of the so-called animalcules have been shown to be plants, having locomotive powers something like those of animals. Among these are Volvox, the Desmidiacae, and the siliceous Diatomaceae.

Spermatic animalcules. See Spermatozoa.

 

© Webster 1913.

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