AskDefine | Define zoophyte

The Collaborative Dictionary

Zoophyte \Zo"o*phyte\, n. [F. zoophyte, Gr. ?; zw^,on an animal + ? plant, akin to ? to be born, to be. See Zodiac, and Be, v. i.] (Zool.) (a) Any one of numerous species of invertebrate animals which more or less resemble plants in appearance, or mode of growth, as the corals, gorgonians, sea anemones, hydroids, bryozoans, sponges, etc., especially any of those that form compound colonies having a branched or treelike form, as many corals and hydroids. (b) Any one of the Zoophyta. [1913 Webster] Zoophytic

Word Net

zoophyte n : any of various invertebrate animals resembling a plant such as a sea anemone or coral or sponge



  1. Any of various invertebrate animals which resemble plants, such as sponges, corals and sea anemones.
A zoophyte is an animal that visually resembles a plant. An example is a sea anemone. The name is obsolete in modern science.
On an episode of The Bob Newhart Show, the lovable yet befuddled Howard uses the word "zoophyte" during a game of Scrabble for a triple-word score. Although he incorrectly defines the word as "a fight between two or more animals in a zoo," he spells it correctly and wins the game.
In Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, by 19th century science fiction author Jules Verne, the term is used countless times when describing the sea-life seen by the passengers.
zoophyte in Czech: Zoofyt
zoophyte in German: Zoophyt
zoophyte in French: Zoophyte
zoophyte in Polish: Zwierzokrzewy
zoophyte in Ukrainian: Зоофіти
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