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[luh-bel-uh m]
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noun, plural la·bel·la [luh-bel-uh] /ləˈbɛl ə/. Botany.
  1. the petal of an orchid that differs more or less markedly from the other petals, often forming the most conspicuous part; the lip.

Origin of labellum

1820–30; < Latin, diminutive of labrum lip; for formation see castellum
Related formsla·bel·loid, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for labellum

Historical Examples

  • This leads me to conclude that the labellum is always a compound organ.

    More Letters of Charles Darwin Volume II

    Charles Darwin

  • Is it not curious the way the labellum sits on the top of the column?

  • Petals and sepals are white, and there is a white patch on the labellum.

    The Woodlands Orchids

    Frederick Boyle

  • Duchartre describes an instance wherein one of the outer sepals of Cattleya Forbesii was adherent to the labellum.

    Vegetable Teratology</p>

    Maxwell T. Masters

  • The blossom is normal as to the proper perianth, except that the labellum is unusually papillose, bearded almost to the base.

    Vegetable Teratology</p>

    Maxwell T. Masters

British Dictionary definitions for labellum


noun plural -la (-lə)
  1. the part of the corolla of certain plants, esp orchids, that forms a distinct, often lobed, lip
  2. a lobe at the tip of the proboscis of a fly
Derived Formslabelloid, adjective

Word Origin

C19: New Latin, diminutive of Latin labrum lip
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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