Etymology
Advertisement

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

Advertisement
Advertisement