Share this entry

Share this page

coccolith

Syllabification: coc·co·lith
Pronunciation: /ˈkäkəˌliTH
 
/

Definition of coccolith in English:

noun

Biology
A minute, rounded, calcareous platelet, numbers of which form the spherical shells of coccolithophores.
Example sentences
  • At this rate it is possible to produce an average 100 metre thickness of coccoliths as calcareous ooze on the ocean floor in less than 200 years.
  • Chalk, though it may include shell fragments, is predominantly composed of coccoliths from planktonic algae, forming fine-grained limestone.
  • The living cell possesses a gelatinous sheath in which are embedded calcareous plates termed coccoliths.

Origin

mid 19th century: from Greek kokkos 'grain or berry' + lithos 'stone'.

Definition of coccolith in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day resilient
Pronunciation: rɪˈzɪlɪənt
adjective
able to recoil or spring back into shape…