archaea

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ar·chae·on

 (är′kē-ŏn′)
n. pl. ar·chae·a (-kē-ə)
Any of various prokaryotic microorganisms of the domain Archaea, being genetically distinct from bacteria and often living in habitats with extreme environmental conditions such as high temperature or salinity. Also called archaebacterium.

[New Latin Archaeon (back-formed singular of Archaea, domain name), from Greek arkhaion, neuter singular of arkhaios, ancient (in reference to the very ancient separation of the archaea and the eubacteria in evolutionary history); see archaic.]

archaea

(ɑːˈkiːə)
n
an order of prokaryotic microorganisms