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nematocyst

[ nem-uh-tuh-sist, ni-mat-uh- ]
/ ˈnɛm ə təˌsɪst, nɪˈmæt ə- /
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noun Zoology.

an organ in coelenterates consisting of a minute capsule containing an ejectable thread that causes a sting.

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Origin of nematocyst

First recorded in 1870–75; nemato- + -cyst
nem·a·to·cys·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for nematocyst

nematocyst
/ (ˈnɛmətəˌsɪst, nɪˈmætə-) /

noun

a structure in coelenterates, such as jellyfish, consisting of a capsule containing a hollow coiled thread that can be everted to sting or paralyse prey and enemies
nematocystic, adjective
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 nematocyst

nematocyst
[ nĕmə-tə-sĭst′, nə-mătə- ]

n.

A capsule within specialized cells of certain coelenterates containing a barbed, threadlike tube that delivers a paralyzing sting.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for nematocyst

nematocyst
[ nĕmə-tə-sĭst′, nĭ-mătə-sĭst′ ]

One of the minute capsules in the tentacles of cnidarians, such as jellyfish, hydras, or sea anemones, used for stinging. The capsule is produced by a special cell (called a cnidoblast) and contains a tightly coiled barbed thread that quickly shoots forth if the capsule's lid is disturbed. The thread often contains poison.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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