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Any of numerous parasitic protozoans that produce infective spores and often have complex life cycles involving both sexual and asexual reproduction. Sporozoans cause diseases such as malaria and cryptosporidiosis. Most sporozoans, which were formerly placed in the class Sporozoa, are now classified as apicomplexans.

[From New Latin Sporozōa, former class name : sporo- + -zōa, pl. of -zōon, -zoon.]

spo′ro·zo′an 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.


(ˌspɔːrəˈzəʊən; ˌspɒ-)
(Animals) any parasitic protozoan of the phylum Apicomplexa (or Sporozoa), characterized by a complex life cycle, part of which is passed in the cells of the host, and the production of asexual spores: includes the malaria parasite. See plasmodium2
(Animals) of or relating to sporozoans
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌspɔr əˈzoʊ ən, ˌspoʊr-)

any parasitic spore-forming protozoan of the class Sporozoa, several species of which cause malaria.
[1885–90; < New Latin Sporozo(a) (see sporo-, -zoa) + -an1]
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.sporozoan - parasitic spore-forming protozoansporozoan - parasitic spore-forming protozoan  
protozoan, protozoon - any of diverse minute acellular or unicellular organisms usually nonphotosynthetic
class Sporozoa, Sporozoa - strictly parasitic protozoans that are usually immobile; includes plasmodia and coccidia and piroplasms and malaria parasites
sporozoite - one of the minute active bodies into which sporozoans divide in one stage of their life cycle
trophozoite - a sporozoan in the active feeding stage of its life cycle
merozoite - a cell that arises from the asexual division of a parent sporozoan during its life cycle
coccidium, eimeria - parasitic on the digestive epithelium of vertebrates and higher invertebrates
gregarine - vermiform protozoans parasitic in insects and other invertebrates
haemosporidian - minute protozoans parasitic at some stage of the life cycle in blood cells of vertebrates including many pathogens
malaria parasite, Plasmodium vivax, plasmodium - parasitic protozoan of the genus Plasmodium that causes malaria in humans
haemoproteid - related to malaria parasite and having a phase in the viscera of various birds
leucocytozoan, leucocytozoon - parasitic in birds
piroplasm - minute parasite of red blood cells of mammals transmitted by a tick and causing diseases of domestic animals
sarcocystidean, sarcocystieian, sarcosporidian - parasite of the muscles of vertebrates
haplosporidian - parasite in invertebrates and lower vertebrates of no known economic importance
actinomyxidian - parasites of worms
microsporidian - parasite of arthropods and fishes that invade and destroy host cells
myxosporidian - mostly parasitic in fishes and including various serious pathogens
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
It was first discovered by Tyzzer as "sporozoan found in the peptic glands of the common mouse" in 1907 (Tyzzer 1907).
From the neo- (Latin, "new") + spora (Greek, "seed") and canis (Latin, "dog"), Neospora caninum is a sporozoan parasite that was first described in 1984.
Toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic infection in humans caused by an intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii, a sporozoan protozoa belonging to genus of Toxoplasma.