animalcule

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Related to animalcula: animalcules

animalcule

, animalculum
a microscopic animal such as an amoeba or rotifer
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
These breeders learned to feed the goldfish with a kind of red animalcula (...) found in putrid water [tubifex worms?] and discovered the secrets of propagating goldfish so as to enable them to offer a selection of rare varieties of goldfish to gods on festival days." By the year 1241 the goldfish had become tamed and used to the food offered by humans.
At o quam aegre temperaret a risu vel ipse, si in vivis esset, Heraclitus, si forte hosce cerneret, si Diis placet, Oratorculos, quos paulo ante audiverit cothurnato EuriDidis Oreste, aut furibundo sub mortem Hercule grandiora eructantes, exhausto tandem vocularum quarendam tenuissimo penu, posito incedere supercilio, aut retractis introrsum Cornibus, velut animalcula quaedam abrepere.
Thus the series of diminutives with their lengthy suffixes seem ideally tailored to produce a mock-heroic satire of bombastic speeches: "vocabulorum & sententiuncularum" (platitudlets--here the similar genitive plural endings add rhyme to ridicule), "Oratorculos" (oratastors), "ranuncula Seriphia" (Seriphian froglets), "animalcula" (little creatures).