cri·​bel·​lum | \ krə̇ˈbeləm \
plural cribella\ -​lə \

Definition of cribellum

1 : a special spinning organ having numerous fine perforations and situated in front of the ordinary spinning organs that is found only in spiders of certain families
2 : a chitinous plate with perforations which constitute the openings of minute ducts leading from certain glands of insects

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for cribellum

New Latin, from Late Latin, small sieve, diminutive of Latin cribrum sieve; akin to Latin cernere to sift, discern

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cribellum

Statistics for cribellum

Cite this Entry

“Cribellum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

Comments on cribellum

What made you want to look up cribellum? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!