Gam"ete(gm"t; g*mt"; the latter usually in compounds), n. [Gr. gameth` wife, or game`ths husband, fr. gamei^n to marry.] (Biol.) A sexual cell or germ cell having a single set of unpaired chromosomes; a conjugating cell which unites with another of like or unlike character to form a new individual. In Bot., gamete designates esp. the similar sex cells of the lower thallophytes which unite by conjugation, forming a zygospore. The gametes of higher plants are of two sorts, sperm (male) and egg (female); their union is called fertilization, and the resulting zygote an ospore. In Zol., gamete is most commonly used of the sexual cells of certain Protozoa, though also extended to the germ cells of higher forms.
[Webster 1913 Suppl.]
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