- 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. 2018
Examples from the Web for flagellum
Tim and his congeries hate the clerics, but they fear the flagellum.Ireland as It Is
Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
Post-annellus: in Hymenoptera, the 4th joint of antenna and 2d of flagellum.Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology
John. B. Smith
In Trichoniscus the flagellum may have from seven to four (rarely three) joints.The British Woodlice
Wilfred Mark Webb
It was a curious sensation—that first stroke of the flagellum.The Lamp of Fate
The individuals are very small indeed, and it will take your best objective to show the flagellum.Through a Microscope
- 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
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 flagellum
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
- 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.