(1)   A specific kind of something
"A species of molecule"
"A species of villainy"
(2)   (biology) taxonomic group whose members can interbreed


From , from + suffix signifying abstract noun.


  1. A group of plants or animals having similar appearance.
    This species of animal is unique to the area.
  2. A rank in the classification of organisms, below genus and above subspecies; a taxon at that rank
    • Darwin, On the Origin of Species:
      Hence, in determining whether a form should be ranked as a species or a variety, the opinion of naturalists having sound judgment and wide experience seems the only guide to follow.
    I cast the species of the Sun onto a sheet of paper through a telescope.
  3. A mineral with a unique chemical formula whose crystals belong to a unique crystallographic system.
  4. The image of something cast on a surface, or reflected from a surface, or refracted through a lens or telescope; a reflection.
  5. Either of the two elements of the Eucharist after they have been consecrated, so named because they retain the image of the bread and wine before their transubstantiation into the body and blood of Christ.

Usage notes

is a separate word that means coin money, not the singular version of . See .

Related terms

See also