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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Fungi \Fun"gi\ (f[u^]n"j[imac]), n. pl.; sing. fungus. (Biol.) A group of thallophytic plant-like organisms of low organization, destitute of chlorophyll, in which reproduction is mainly accomplished by means of asexual spores, which are produced in a great variety of ways, though sexual reproduction is known to occur in certain Phycomycetes, or so-called algal fungi. They include the molds, mildews, rusts, smuts, mushrooms, toadstools, puff balls, and the allies of each. In the two-kingdom classification system they were classed with the plants, but in the modern five-kingdom classification, they are not classed as plants, but are classed in their own separate kingdom fungi, which includes the phyla Zygomycota (including simple fungi such as bread molds), Ascomycota (including the yeasts), Basidiomycota (including the mushrooms, smuts, and rusts), and Deuteromycota (the fungi imperfecti). Some of the forms, such as the yeasts, appear as single-celled microorganisms, but all of the fungi are are eukaryotic, thus distinguishing them from the prokaryotic microorganisms of the kingdon Monera.

Note: The Fungi appear to have originated by degeneration from various alg[ae], losing their chlorophyll on assuming a parasitic or saprophytic life. In an earlier classification they were divided into the subclasses Phycomycetes, the lower or algal fungi; the Mesomycetes, or intermediate fungi; and the Mycomycetes, or the higher fungi; by others into the Phycomycetes; the Ascomycetes, or sac-spore fungi; and the Basidiomycetes, or basidial-spore fungi.


Fungus \Fun"gus\, n.; pl. L. Fungi, E. Funguses. [L., a mushroom; perh. akin to a doubtful Gr. ? sponge, for ?; if so, cf. E. sponge.]

  1. (Bot.) Any one of the Fungi, a large and very complex group of thallophytes of low organization, -- the molds, mildews, rusts, smuts, mushrooms, toadstools, puff balls, and the allies of each. See fungi.

    Note: The fungi are all destitute of chorophyll, and, therefore, to be supplied with elaborated nourishment, must live as saprophytes or parasites. They range in size from single microscopic cells to systems of entangled threads many feet in extent, which develop reproductive bodies as large as a man's head. The vegetative system consists of septate or rarely unseptate filaments called hyph[ae]; the aggregation of hyph[ae] into structures of more or less definite form is known as the mycelium. See Fungi, in the Supplement.

  2. (Med.) A spongy, morbid growth or granulation in animal bodies, as the proud flesh of wounds.


Cryptogamia \Cryp`to*ga"mi*a\ (kr?p`t?-g?"m?-?), n.; pl. Cryptogami[ae] (-?). [NL., fr. Gr. krypto`s hidden, secret + ga`mos marriage.] (Bot.) The series or division of flowerless plants, or those never having true stamens and pistils, but propagated by spores of various kinds.

Note: The subdivisions have been variously arranged. The following arrangement recognizes four classes: -- I. {Pteridophyta, or Vascular Acrogens.} These include Ferns, Equiseta or Scouring rushes, Lycopodiace[ae] or Club mosses, Selaginelle[ae], and several other smaller orders. Here belonged also the extinct coal plants called Lepidodendron, Sigillaria, and Calamites. II. {Bryophita, or Cellular Acrogens}. These include Musci, or Mosses, Hepatic[ae], or Scale mosses and Liverworts, and possibly Charace[ae], the Stoneworts. III. {Alg[ae]}, which are divided into Floride[ae], the Red Seaweeds, and the orders Dictyote[ae], O["o]spore[ae], Zo["o]spore[ae], Conjugat[ae], Diatomace[ae], and Cryptophyce[ae]. IV. {Fungi}. The molds, mildews, mushrooms, puffballs, etc., which are variously grouped into several subclasses and many orders. The Lichenes or Lichens are now considered to be of a mixed nature, each plant partly a Fungus and partly an Alga.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Latin plural of fungus. In biology, in reference to one of the lowest of the great groups of cellular cryptograms.


n. 1 (plural of fungus English) 2 (senseid en granulation_tissue)(context pathology English) Spongy, abnormal growth, as granulation tissue formed in a wound

  1. n. a parasitic plant lacking chlorophyll and leaves and true stems and roots and reproducing by spores

  2. [also: fungi (pl)]


See fungus

Fungi (disambiguation)

Fungi is a plural form of Fungus.

Fungi may also refer to:

  • Fungi (music), a Caribbean music style
  • Cou-cou, also known as "fungi", a Caribbean food
Fungi (music)

Fungi is the name given to the local musical form of the British Virgin Islands. It is also the native music of the U.S. Virgin Islands, where it is known as quelbe. Fungi music is an expression of Virgin Islands culture as it shows the islands' African and European influences in a unique sound. The name fungi comes from a local dish of the same name. It is a cornmeal-based food which is made with different ingredients including okra, onions, and green peppers, and is sometimes served plain. This "cook-up" which is a savoury fusion of different flavors creates something new. Similarly, Fungi music is a blend of many different instruments and styles. A fungi band is based on the fusion of a wide range of instruments, many of which are homemade. The beat of the double bass is usually the base for a colourful mix of sounds and instruments.

Usage examples of "fungi".

There is one great group of fungi called Basidiomycetes, so named from having their stalked spores produced on basidia.

The Basidia-bearing fungi, or Basidiomycetes, are divided into three classes, as has been already stated.

There are many books on British fungi for students, but we want some popular work easy to understand, with no technical expressions.

We procured a list of works on fungi, and looked for some volume not too deep for our comprehension nor too costly for our purse.

We could go on prolonging our search, and describe many wonderful fungi, so easily found on a summer day, but as our object is to excite curiosity and interest and not fatigue the reader, we will here pause, and afterward arrange the descriptions of mushrooms in a separate section.

The peculiarity of growth first arises from a tendency of certain fungi to assume a circular form.

Before we begin our list of fungi, let us learn what a mushroom is, and know something of its component parts.

There is a group of fungi called Polyporei, which have tubes or pores instead of gills.

The study of fungi has only begun in this country, and there is an immense vista for future students.

Stevenson, in his book on British Fungi, has given the original words and also their meanings.

The plants grow on the outside of wood and leaves, even on fungi, but are often rooted on the ground, and do not dry up.

We have described several species in our list of fungi, and will only say that these are fleshy fungi, either simple or branched.

The third class, Hymenomycetes, or Membrane fungi, has been described, but there remain two other groups of which we will now speak more fully.

The first class, called the Gasteromycetes, or Stomach fungi, matures its spores on the inside of the plant.

The distinction between this class and that of the Membrane fungi, which ripens its spores on the outside, may be more readily understood by one familiar with the structure of the fig, whose flowers are situated on the interior of its pear-shaped, hollow axis, which is the fruit.