Di"a*tom (?), n. [Gr. cut in two. See Diatomous.]

1. Bot.

One of the Diatomaceae, a family of minute unicellular Algae having a siliceous covering of great delicacy, each individual multiplying by spontaneous division. By some authors diatoms are called Bacillariae, but this word is not in general use.

2.

A particle or atom endowed with the vital principle.

The individual is nothing. He is no more than the diatom, the bit of protoplasm. Mrs. E. Lynn Linton.

 

© Webster 1913.

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