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Compare French animalculisme; the surface analysis is animalcule +‎ -ism.


animalculism (uncountable)

  1. (biology, archaic) A theory seeking to explain certain physiological and pathological phenomena in terms of animalcules.
  2. (biology, archaic) The theory that the spermatozoon and not the ovum contains the whole of the embryo; spermatism.


  • (spermatozoon theory): ovism


Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for animalculism in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)