- an organ in coelenterates consisting of a minute capsule containing an ejectable thread that causes a sting.
Origin of nematocyst
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for nematocyst
The cnidoblasts are the mother-cells of the nematocysts, each cell producing one nematocyst in its interior.
- a structure in coelenterates, such as jellyfish, consisting of a capsule containing a hollow coiled thread that can be everted to sting or paralyse prey and enemies
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
Word Origin and History for nematocyst
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A capsule within specialized cells of certain coelenterates containing a barbed, threadlike tube that delivers a paralyzing sting.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- One of the minute capsules in the tentacles of cnidarians, such as jellyfish, hydras, or sea anemones, used for stinging. The capsule is produced by a special cell (called a cnidoblast) and contains a tightly coiled barbed thread that quickly shoots forth if the capsule's lid is disturbed. The thread often contains poison.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.