[ fluh-jel-uh ]
/ fləˈdʒɛl ə /


a plural of flagellum.

Definition for flagella (2 of 2)


[ fluh-jel-uh m ]
/ fləˈdʒɛl əm /

noun, plural fla·gel·la [fluh-jel-uh] /fləˈdʒɛl ə/, fla·gel·lums.

Biology. a long, lashlike appendage serving as an organ of locomotion in protozoa, sperm cells, etc.
Botany. a runner.
Also called clavola. Entomology. (in an antenna) the whiplike portion above the basal joints.
a whip or lash.

Origin of flagellum

1800–10; < Latin: whip, lash, diminutive of flagrum a whip, scourge
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for flagella

British Dictionary definitions for flagella


/ (fləˈdʒɛləm) /

noun plural -la (-lə) or -lums

biology a long whiplike outgrowth from a cell that acts as an organ of locomotion: occurs in some protozoans, gametes, spores, etc
botany a long thin supple shoot or runner
zoology the terminal whiplike part of an arthropod's appendage, esp of the antenna of many insects
Derived Formsflagellar, adjective

Word Origin for flagellum

C19: from Latin: a little whip, from flagrum a whip, lash
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 flagella



1852, in reference to microbes, from Latin flagellum "whip, scourge," diminutive of flagrum "whip," from PIE root *bhlag- "to strike."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for flagella


[ flə-jĕləm ]

n. pl. fla•gel•la (-jĕlə)

A threadlike appendage, especially a whiplike extension of certain cells or organisms that functions as an organ of locomotion.
Related formsfla•gellar (-jĕlər) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for flagella


[ flə-jĕləm ]

Plural flagella

A slender whiplike part extending from some single-celled organisms, such as the dinoflagellates, that moves rapidly back and forth to impart movement to the organism.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.