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[skyoo-tel-uh m] /skyuˈtɛl əm/
noun, plural scutella
[skyoo-tel-uh] /skyuˈtɛl ə/ (Show IPA)
Botany. the shieldlike cotyledon of certain monocots.
Zoology. a small plate, scutum, or other shieldlike part, as on the thorax of insects or the feet of birds.
Origin of scutellum
1750-60; < New Latin, equivalent to Latin scūt(um) shield (see scute) + -ellum diminutive suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for scutellum


noun (biology) (pl) -la (-lə)
the last of three plates into which the notum of an insect's thorax is divided
one of the scales on the tarsus of a bird's leg
an outgrowth from a germinating grass seed that probably represents the cotyledon
any other small shield-shaped part or structure
Derived Forms
scutellar, adjective
scutellate (ˈskjuːtɪˌleɪt; -lɪt) adjective
Word Origin
C18: from New Latin: a little shield, from Latin scūtum a shield
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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scutellum in Science
Plural scutella
  1. A shieldlike bony plate or scale, as on the thorax of some insects.

  2. The large, shield-shaped cotyledon of the embryo of a grass plant, specialized for the absorption of food from the endosperm.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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