- the aggregate of actively swimming aquatic organisms in a body of water, able to move independently of water currents.
- the population of free-swimming animals that inhabits the middle depths of a sea or lakeCompare plankton
1893, from German nekton (van Heusen, 1890), from Greek nekton, neuter of nektos “swimming,” from nekhein “to swim” (see natatorium).
- The collection of marine and freshwater organisms that can swim freely and are generally independent of currents, ranging in size from microscopic organisms to whales. Compare benthos plankton.