di·no·fla·gel·late | \ˌdī-nō-ˈfla-jə-lət, -ˌlāt;-flə-ˈje-lət\

Definition of dinoflagellate 

: any of an order (Dinoflagellata) of chiefly marine planktonic usually solitary unicellular phytoflagellates that include luminescent forms, forms important in marine food chains, and forms causing red tide

Examples of dinoflagellate in a Sentence

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After dark, the tour searches for blooms of bioluminescent dinoflagellates, small organisms in the water that produce a burst of light when excited by motion. Necee Regis, BostonGlobe.com, "Here, there, and everywhere," 12 June 2018 Getaway Adventures leads the paddling after dark through waters that contain bioluminescent dinoflagellates, small organisms that light up in the water when excited by the movement of the kayaks. Phil Marty, chicagotribune.com, "Music across the Midwest, rib festival in Indiana and more reasons to hit the road," 30 May 2018 The phenomenon is caused by high concentrations of tiny aquatic organisms called dinoflagellates, according to the University of California San Diego’s Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "A Rare Phenomenon Made the Ocean in California Glow Blue This Week," 12 May 2018 Scripps scientist Michael Latz said the red tide is due to massive numbers of dinoflagellates including Lingulodinium polyedra. CBS News, "Bioluminescence from red tide: Algae bloom literally lighting up San Diego waves at night," 9 May 2018 Based on analysis of a water sample provided by Scripps collector Phil Zerofski, the water contains dense numbers of dinoflagellates especially Ceratium falcatiforme and Lingulodinium polyedra. Gary Robbins, latimes.com, "Nighttime surf glowing with aqua-colored light dazzles San Diego beach," 9 May 2018 In high concentrations, flashing dinoflagellates can make the water glow. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "The Story Behind Big Sur’s Glowing Waves," 27 Feb. 2018 Similar to the glow of a firefly, the bright blue flashes lighting up the ocean waves are the biochemical reaction of small, algae-like organisms known as dinoflagellates. Sunset, "This Rare Marine Phenomenon Is Making the Pacific Glow," 22 Jan. 2018 Fossils of mantis shrimp, shark teeth, dinoflagellates and saline-loving bacteria were discovered deep beneath the rain forest. Jackson Landers, Smithsonian, "A Vast and Now Vanished Amazon Sea Is Discovered," 5 May 2017

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

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First Known Use of dinoflagellate

1901, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dinoflagellate

ultimately from Greek dinos rotation, eddy + New Latin flagellum

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The first known use of dinoflagellate was in 1901

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di·no·fla·gel·late | \ˌdī-nō-ˈflaj-ə-lət, -ˌlāt, -flə-ˈjel-ət\

Medical Definition of dinoflagellate 

: any of division or phylum (Dinoflagellata) of chiefly marine, planktonic, unicellular protists that include luminescent forms, forms important in marine food chains, and forms causing red tide

More from Merriam-Webster on dinoflagellate

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dinoflagellate

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