WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
noc•ti•lu•ca  (nok′tə lo̅o̅kə),USA pronunciation n., pl.  -cae (nok′tə lo̅o̅kə),USA pronunciation 
  1. Microbiologya dinoflagellate of the genus Noctiluca, capable of producing light and, in groups, of causing a luminous appearance of the sea.
noc′ti•lucan, adj. 
  • Neo-Latin; Latin noctilūca shiner by night, equivalent. to nocti- nocti- + -lūca shiner, derivative of lūcēre to shine
  • 1670–80

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