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See also: zoöphyte


Alternative forms[edit]


From zoo- +‎ -phyte, after Middle French zoophyte; later reinforced by scientific Latin Zoophyta.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈzəʊəfaɪt/, /ˈzuːfaɪt/


zoophyte (plural zoophytes)

  1. (biology, now historical) An animal thought to have the characteristics of a plant, later specifically an invertebrate of the (former) group Zoophyta, comprising sponges, corals and sea anemones. [from 17th c.]
  2. (biology, now historical) A plant believed to have the characteristics of an animal, especially a sensitive plant or vegetable lamb. [from 17th c.]
    • 1665, Robert Hooke, Micrographia, XIX:
      And besides, as there are many Zoophyts, and sensitive Plants […] so have we, in some Authors, Instances of Plants turning into Animals, and Animals into Plants, and the like […].

Derived terms[edit]