homunculus [huh-muhng-kyuh-luh s, hoh-] Word Origin noun, plural ho·mun·cu·li [huh-muhng-kyuh-lahy, hoh-] /həˈmʌŋ kyəˌlaɪ, hoʊ-/.
- an artificially made dwarf, supposedly produced in a flask by an alchemist.
- a fully formed, miniature human body believed, according to some medical theories of the 16th and 17th centuries, to be contained in the spermatozoon.
- a diminutive human being.
- the human fetus.
Origin of homunculus 1650–60; Latin, equivalent to homun- (variant of homin-, stem of homō man; see) + -culus Related formsho·mun·cu·lar, adjective British Dictionary definitions for homuncular homunculus noun plural -li (-ˌlaɪ)
- a miniature man; midget
- (in early biological theory) a fully-formed miniature human being existing in a spermatozoon or egg
Former name: homuncule (həʊˈmʌŋkjuːl) Derived Formshomuncular, adjectiveWord Origin for homunculus C17: from Latin, diminutive of homo man Word Origin and History for homuncular adj.
1822, from+ .
1650s, from Latin homunculus, literally “little person,” from homo (genitive hominis) “man, human being,” the Latin word that means “man, person, a human being” (technically “male human,” but in logical and scholastic writing “human being”), also “the human race, mankind,” perhaps from PIE *(dh)ghomon-, literally “earthling,” from *dhghem- “earth” (see; also cf. ). With -culus, Latin diminutive suffix. Other Latin diminutives from homo included homullus, homuncio.
homuncular in Medicine homunculus [hō-mŭng′kyə-ləs, hə-] n. pl. ho•mun•cu•li (-lī′)
- A diminutive human.
- A miniature, fully formed individual which adherents of the early biological theory of preformation believed to be present in the sperm cell.