Etymology
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plasmolysis (n.)

1883, in biology, from French plasmolysis (1877), from plasmo- (see plasma) + Greek lysis "a loosening" (see -lysis). Related: Plasmolytic; plasmolyze.

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predator (n.)

"animal that preys upon another," 1862, from Latin praedator "plunderer," from praedari "to rob" (see predation). Latin Predatores (Swainson, 1840) was used in biology of the group of coleopterous insects that ate other insects.

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ichthyomorphic (adj.)

"fish-shaped," 1870 in biology, 1879 in mythology, from ichthyo- "fish" + -morphic, from Greek morphē "form, shape," a word of uncertain etymology.

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optimal (adj.)

"most favorable," 1890, from optimum + -al (1), perhaps based on proximal, etc. Originally a word in biology. Related: Optimally; optimality.

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proliferate (v.)

1857 as a term in biology, "reproduce, grow by multiplication of elementary parts;" see proliferation. General sense, of things, etc., "increase greatly in numbers," by 1961. Related: Proliferated; proliferating.

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molecular (adj.)

"relating to or consisting of molecules," by 1815, from molecule + -ar or else from French moléculaire or Modern Latin molecularis. Molecular biology is attested by 1950.

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Reptilia (n.)

in biology, the class of cold-blooded, scaled vertebrates including the reptiles proper, mid-17c., from Latin plural of reptile (see reptile; also see -a (2)).

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punctate (adj.)

"dotted, pointed, marked with dots," 1760, from Modern Latin punctuatus, from Latin punctum "a point" (from nasalized form of PIE root *peuk- "to prick"). Especially in biology, "having dots scattered over the surface." Related: Punctation.

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convergent (adj.)

"tending to meet or actually meeting in a point," 1730, from converge + -ent. Convergent evolution was in use among biologists by 1890 (convergence in evolutionary biology dates to 1866).

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sematic (adj.)

"significant, indicative, serving as a sign or warning" (as of danger), 1855, from Greek sēmat-, combining form of sēma (genitive sematos) "sign" (see semantic) + -ic. Used especially in biology, in reference to "warning" colors, etc. (by 1890).

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