Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


 (nĕk′tən, -tŏn′)
The collection of marine and freshwater organisms that can swim freely and are generally independent of currents, ranging in size from microscopic organisms to whales.

[Greek nēkton, neuter of nēktos, swimming, from nēkhein, to swim; see snā- in Indo-European roots.]

nek·ton′ic (-tŏn′ĭk) adj.


(Zoology) the population of free-swimming animals that inhabits the middle depths of a sea or lake. Compare plankton
[C19: via German from Greek nēkton a swimming thing, from nēkhein to swim]
nekˈtonic adj


(ˈnɛk tɒn, -tən)

the aggregate of actively swimming aquatic organisms in a body of water.
[1890–95; < Greek nēktós swimming, v. adj. of nḗchein to swim]
nek•ton′ic, adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.nekton - the aggregate of actively swimming animals in a body of water ranging from microscopic organisms to whales
organism, being - a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently
congeries, conglomeration, aggregate - a sum total of many heterogenous things taken together
References in periodicals archive ?
Oyster reef restoration: effect of alternative substrates on oyster recruitment and nekton habitat use.
Nekton use of salt marsh, sea- grass, and nonvegetated habitats in a South Texas (USA) estuary.
Interactions between mangrove and seagrass habitats mediated by estuarine nekton assemblages: Coupling of primary and secondary production.
NEKTON A Creatures of the night B Genus of water-lily C Assemblage of organisms swimming in the water who am I?
The survey is being delivered by Nekton in partnership with XL Catlin and a pioneering alliance of the worlds leading ocean scientists, media organisations, business leaders, philanthropists, educationalists and civil leaders.
Abundance and distribution patterns of nekton and micronekton in the northern California Current transition zone.
Nathan Gates and Zach McKinleym, The Georgetown School of the Arts and Sciences, "Study of the Correlation between Nekton Abundance and Biological/Meteorological Variables (1994-1998)"
Influence of sequential hurricanes on nekton communities in a Southeast Florida estuary: Short-term effects in the context of historical variations in freshwater inflow.