barbicel

noun
bar·​bi·​cel | \ ˈbär-bə-ˌsel How to pronounce barbicel (audio) \

Definition of barbicel

: any of the small hook-bearing processes on a barbule of a feather — see feather illustration

Examples of barbicel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web If the microscopic hooks are indeed barbicels, this is the earliest evidence of a flight-capable feather that has ever been found. Rachel Fritts, Ars Technica, "Forgotten trove of fossil feathers belonged to tiny polar dinosaurs," 15 Jan. 2020 In modern birds, barbicels are the structures that allow flight feathers to retain their shape as birds flap their wings. Rachel Fritts, Ars Technica, "Forgotten trove of fossil feathers belonged to tiny polar dinosaurs," 15 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'barbicel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of barbicel

1827, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for barbicel

New Latin barbicella, diminutive of Latin barba

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Time Traveler for barbicel

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The first known use of barbicel was in 1827

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Cite this Entry

“Barbicel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/barbicel. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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