Etymology
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diatom (n.)

"microscopic unicellular algae," 1845, from Modern Latin genus name Diatoma, coined from Greek diatomos "cut in two," from diatemnein "to cut through," from dia "through" (see dia-) + temnein "to cut" (from PIE root *tem- "to cut"). So called because they typically appear to have been cut in half. Related: Diatomic; diatomaceous.

updated on August 15, 2018

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Definitions of diatom from WordNet

diatom (n.)
microscopic unicellular marine or freshwater colonial alga having cell walls impregnated with silica;
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.