noun (plural foraminifers or foraminifera /ˌfɒrəmɪˈnɪf(ə)rə/)Zoology
- a single-celled planktonic animal with a perforated chalky shell through which slender protrusions of protoplasm extend. Most kinds are marine, and when they die thick ocean-floor sediments are formed from their shells. See also globigerina.
- Order Foraminiferida, phylum Rhizopoda, kingdom Protista
mid 19th century: from Latin foramen, foramin- (see foramen) + -fer 'bearing' (from ferre 'to bear')