[ din-uh-flaj-uh-leyt ]
/ ˌdɪn əˈflædʒ əˌleɪt /


any of numerous chiefly marine plankton of the phylum Pyrrophyta (or, in some classification schemes, the order Dinoflagellata), usually having two flagella, one in a groove around the body and the other extending from its center.

Origin of dinoflagellate

First recorded in 1900–05; dino- + flagellate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for dinoflagellate

/ (ˌdaɪnəʊˈflædʒɪlɪt, -ˌleɪt) /


any of a group of unicellular biflagellate aquatic organisms forming a constituent of plankton: now usually classified as a phylum of protoctists (Dinoflagellata)


of or relating to dinoflagellates

Word Origin for dinoflagellate

C19: from New Latin Dinoflagellata, from Greek dinos whirling + flagellum + -ate 1
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

Medical definitions for dinoflagellate

[ dī′nō-flăjə-lĭt, -lāt′, -flə-jĕlĭt ]


Any of numerous chiefly marine flagellates of the order Dinoflagellata, some species of which produce a potent neurotoxin that may cause severe food poisoning following ingestion of parasitized shellfish.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for dinoflagellate

[ dī′nō-flăjə-lĭt ]

Any of numerous one-celled organisms found mostly in the ocean, usually having two flagella of unequal length and often an armorlike covering of cellulose. Dinoflagellates are one of the main components of plankton. Since dinoflagellates have characteristics of both plants and animals, their classification is controversial. See more at red tide.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.