< /ˈfɔ ni/.
- the animals of a given region or period considered as a whole.
- a treatise on the animals of a given region or period.
- (initial capital letter) Roman Religion. Bona Dea.
- an ancient Roman goddess of chastity and fertility.
noun plural -nas or -nae (-niː)
- all the animal life of a given place or time, esp when distinguished from the plant life (flora)
- a descriptive list of such animals
1771, collective name for animals of a certain region or time, from Late Latin Fauna, a Roman fertility goddess, wife, sister, or daughter (or some combination thereof) of Faunus (see faun).
Popularized by Linnaeus, who adopted it as a companion word to flora and used it in the title of his 1746 catalogue of the animals of Sweden, “Fauna Suecica.” First used in English by naturalist Gilbert White.
n. pl. fau•nas
- Animals, especially the animals of a particular region or period, considered as a group.
Plural faunas faunae (fô′nē′)
- The animals of a particular region or time period.
Animals, especially the animals of a particular place and time.