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paramecium Syllabification: par·a·me·ci·um
Pronunciation: /ˌparəˈmēSH(ē)əm/ /-sēəm/

Definition of paramecium in English:


A single-celled freshwater animal that has a characteristic slipperlike shape and is covered with cilia.
Example sentences
  • Contact with protozoa, the tremendously varied group of more sophisticated single-celled microbes that includes amoeba and paramecium, has also been greatly reduced in the developed world by water and food treatment measures.
  • In 1911, he reported on the effect of hematoporphyrin and light on a paramecium and red blood cells and described skin reactions in mice exposed to light after hematoporphyrin administration.
  • Parameciums have a permanent feeding mechanism, consisting of a funnel-shaped gullet into which food is drawn by the combined action of the cilia. They feed on small organisms such as bacteria and even other smaller protozoa.


Mid 18th century: modern Latin, from Greek paramēkēs 'oval', from para- 'against' + mēkos 'length'.

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