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
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
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Historical Examples of flagella
British Dictionary definitions for flagella
noun plural -la (-lə) or -lums
Derived Formsflagellar, adjective
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
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
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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
n. pl. fla•gel•la (-jĕl′ə)
Related formsfla•gel′lar (-jĕl′ər) adj.
A threadlike appendage, especially a whiplike extension of certain cells or organisms that functions as an organ of locomotion.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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.