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 (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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
For each of these three systems, core monitoring includes water quality and weather (continuously-deployed dataloggers), vegetation (annual transect sampling), nekton (annual seine sampling), minnow traps (bi-monthly), and sediment cores for large invertebrates (annually) at four to six sampling sites per system.
Ocean-estuary coupling of ichthyoplankton and nekton in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
Nekton use of subtidal oyster shell habitat in a southeastern U.S.
The British-led Nekton Mission arrived off the tiny atoll of Alphonse in the early morning hours, after looming bad weather forced a change of plan and route.
Ocean Zephyr, the science vessel of the Nekton Mission group, is in the Seychelles for the first stage of a multi-year mission to explore the depths of the ocean and document the effects of global warming.
Species composition and community structure of pelagic nekton off Oregon and Washington under variable oceanographic conditions.
Dubbed as Rariphotic Zone or the rare light zone, the region was discovered under the Nekton Mission I, a deep-sea survey to investigate the state of ocean around Bermuda, Sargasso Sea, and the Northwest Atlantic.
The new section was discovered during a research mission to Bermuda organised by Nekton, the British charity for ocean exploration, and led by marine research scientists from the University of Oxford.
Conolly, "Modification of saltmarsh for mosquito control in Australia alters habitat use by nekton," Wetlands Ecology and Management, vol.
Nekton use of salt marsh, sea- grass, and nonvegetated habitats in a South Texas (USA) estuary.