What does protist mean?

Definitions for protist
ˈproʊ tɪstpro·tist

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word protist.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. protist, protistannoun

    free-living or colonial organisms with diverse nutritional and reproductive modes


  1. protistnoun

    Any of the eukaryotic unicellular organisms including protozoans, slime molds and some algae; historically grouped into the kingdom Protoctista.


  1. Protist

    A protist () is any eukaryotic organism (that is, an organism whose cells contain a cell nucleus) that is not an animal, plant, or fungus. While it is likely that protists share a common ancestor (the last eukaryotic common ancestor), the exclusion of other eukaryotes means that protists do not form a natural group, or clade. Therefore, some protists may be more closely related to animals, plants, or fungi than they are to other protists. However, like the groups algae, invertebrates, and protozoans, the biological category protist is used for convenience. Others classify any unicellular eukaryotic microorganism as a protist. The study of protists is termed protistology.


  1. protist

    Protists are a diverse group of eukaryotic microorganisms, organisms with a nucleus, which does not fit into other kingdoms of life. They are typically unicellular, but there are some multicellular ones. They live in various environments including water, soil, and inside other organisms. Protists include various groups such as algae, amoebas, euglenoids, and slime molds. They play a critical role in their environment by contributing to the nutrient and energy flow. Some protists can cause diseases while others have beneficial relationships with other organisms.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Protistnoun

    one of the Protista


  1. Protist

    Protists are a diverse group of eukaryotic microorganisms. Historically, protists were treated as a biological kingdom formally called the Protista, and included mostly unicellular organisms that did not fit into the other kingdoms. Molecular information has been used to redefine this group in modern taxonomy as diverse and often distantly related phyla. The group of protists is now considered to mean diverse phyla that are not closely related through evolution and have different life cycles, trophic levels, modes of locomotion, and cellular structures. Besides their relatively simple levels of organization, the protists do not have much in common. They are unicellular, or they are multicellular without specialized tissues, and this simple cellular organization distinguishes the protists from other eukaryotes, such as fungi, animals and plants. The term protista was first used by Ernst Haeckel in 1866. Protists were traditionally subdivided into several groups based on similarities to the "higher" kingdoms: the unicellular "animal-like" protozoa, the "plant-like" protophyta, and the "fungus-like" slime molds and water molds. These traditional subdivisions, largely based on superficial commonalities, have been replaced by classifications based on phylogenetics. However, the older terms are still used as informal names to describe the morphology and ecology of various protists.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce protist?

How to say protist in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of protist in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of protist in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for protist

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for protist »


Find a translation for the protist definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

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:


"protist." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/protist>.

Discuss these protist definitions with the community:


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

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    a person who is member of one's class or profession
    • A. volubility
    • B. flunkey
    • C. confrere
    • D. omphalos

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for protist: