What does diatom mean?

Definitions for diatomˈdaɪ ə təm, -ˌtɒm

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word diatom.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. diatom(noun)

    microscopic unicellular marine or freshwater colonial alga having cell walls impregnated with silica


  1. diatom(Noun)

    One of the Diatomaceae, a family of minute unicellular algae having a siliceous covering of great delicacy.

  2. Origin: From διά + τέμνειν, i.e., "cut in half"

Webster Dictionary

  1. Diatom(noun)

    one of the Diatomaceae, a family of minute unicellular Algae having a siliceous covering of great delicacy, each individual multiplying by spontaneous division. By some authors diatoms are called Bacillariae, but this word is not in general use

  2. Diatom(noun)

    a particle or atom endowed with the vital principle

  3. Origin: [Gr. dia`tomos cut in two. See Diatomous.]


  1. Diatom

    Diatoms are a major group of algae, and are among the most common types of phytoplankton. Most diatoms are unicellular, although they can exist as colonies in the shape of filaments or ribbons, fans, zigzags, or stars. Diatoms are producers within the food chain. A unique feature of diatom cells is that they are encased within a cell wall made of silica called a frustule. These frustules show a wide diversity in form, but are usually almost bilaterally symmetrical, hence the group name. The symmetry is not perfect since one of the valves is slightly larger than the other allowing one valve to fit inside the edge of the other. Fossil evidence suggests that they originated during, or before, the early Jurassic Period. Only male gametes of centric diatoms are capable of movement by means of flagella. Diatom communities are a popular tool for monitoring environmental conditions, past and present, and are commonly used in studies of water quality.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Diatom

    dī′a-tom, n. one of an order of microscopic unicellular algæ, of the Diatomaceæ.—adj. Diatomā′ceous.—n. Diat′omite, diatomaceous earth. [Gr. diatomosdia, through, temnein, to cut.]


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of diatom in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of diatom in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Images & Illustrations of diatom

  1. diatomdiatomdiatom

Translations for diatom

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for diatom »


Find a translation for the diatom definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these diatom definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"diatom." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 20 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/diatom>.

Are we missing a good definition for diatom? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for diatom:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.